A decision to sow some entrepreneurial oats in 2011 has transformed Ottawa’s Fusebill into an up-and-coming Canadian financial technology, or fintech, powerhouse in the English-speaking world.
Tyler Eyamie and Greg Burwell weren’t sure what the future had in store when a competitor bought the company they were working for. So, the duo decided to apply a 21st century spin to their learnings from 10-plus years running a Software as a Service (SaaS) business – the cloud.
Six years later, Fusebill is emerging as a fintech leader. Its software platform simplifies subscription-billing management by automating many manual accounting, financial processes and workflows associated with recurring client invoicing relationships. The cloud-based platform that manages subscription billing helps hundreds of companies manage more than 10 million customers worldwide, says Tyler Eyamie, Fusebill CEO.
Eyamie explains that Fusebill saw an opportunity to develop a cloud-based software platform designed to help rapidly growing businesses simplify and accelerate their accounts receivable and accounts payable functions.
Fusebill found its niche. Today, with approximately 40 employees, the company has more than 200 worldwide customers, with the U.S. accounting for more than 90 per cent. The remainder of clients are split between Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Fusebill’s competitive advantage has helped it record triple-digit growth year-over-year since inception.
“We are the only company in Canada that offers (this) service. There are a few in the U.S., but we’re the only one focusing on companies at the rapid-growth stage,” Eyamie says. “We help our clients focus on what they do best – running their business and not chasing people for money.”
And money, in particular foreign exchange, helps Fusebill in the global arena. With the Canadian dollar trading in the 70 to 80-cent range versus the U.S. Greenback, it makes the company more competitive.
“One of the best things about being a Canadian company and doing business in the U.S. is the exchange rate at the moment,” Eyamie says. “A lot of our clients pay annually and in advance. So that $40,000 U.S. translates into $70,000 Canadian, so that helps us invest in our products, hire more people and market.”
In terms of marketing, not surprisingly the company uses technology to find and interact with new customers. More than 80 per cent of leads are generated as a result of web-based advertising while about 15 per cent are created as a result of partner relationships.
“Our sales model isn’t traditional,” Eyamie admits. “We are tech-based company and use the latest tech solutions to drive potential customers to our website. They are out on the web looking for a solution to their problem; they raise their hands and ask for help. We gladly jump in.”
Eyamie adds, “The world is moving to everything as a service – new systems are needed to manage the recurring client relationship. This is where Fusebill steps in to help.”
Looking forward, Eyamie says Fusebill will to continue on its steep growth trajectory and take advantage of a rapidly growing sector.
“Our goal is to build a big business. There’s an opportunity for us to build a Shopify-size company.”
Export insights with Fusebill CEO Tyler Eyamie
Why is fintech a fast growing industry?
It’s expected that the industry will reach $110 billion (U.S.) in the next five years. The financial services space is ripe for disruption because it’s been such a slow moving beast historically. As a result, there are many areas where tremendously smart entrepreneurs are looking at ways of making the customer as well as the overall experience better.
Why is Canada perceived as a fintech leader?
Canada is a real thought leader in how we can we make the world better for people from the financial services side of things. Naturally, fintech is one area where Canadian companies are doing very well and leading.
What’s your advice to a small and medium-sized enterprise looking at doing business internationally?
Make sure you know who your buyer is. The last thing you want to do is invest a lot of time, money and resources, (but not attract) the right customers to the table. Doing business globally requires a lot of thought around who you are trying to attract and discussion about who your customers are. You then need to build a strategy around that. Without a properly thought-out plan, you run the risk of running down a few rabbit holes without any success.
Why did you choose to offer your services only in English?
We know where the opportunity is for us and it’s in the U.S. The U.S. is our biggest market, so regardless of what’s going on there (politically), we wouldn’t be able to push pause on it. If someone asks if our interface can be programmed into Mandarin, we say no – we can’t invest the time.