CareGuide’s Alyssa Atkins explains how non-FinTech startups can find growth opportunities in FinTech


Startups can leverage opportunities in FinTech without actually being a financial services company, according to Alyssa Atkins, director of marketing at Toronto-based CareGuide.

Speaking at the latest FinTechTO, Atkins said there are several ways non-FinTech companies can find opportunities in FinTech — and for FinTech companies to capitalize on “non-FinTech” initiatives to help grow their businesses.

Having a unique distribution angle helped CareGuide roll out and benefit from HeartPayroll.

Atkins gave the example of CareGuide, whose main offering is an an online marketplace that connects people looking for and willing to provide care. CareGuide entered the FinTech space through the spinoff of HeartPayroll, a tool that takes control of the complete payroll process, by providing T4s for nannies and adult caregivers, calculating net and gross pay, and taxes.

“When a family and a nanny find a match, the family becomes an employer…and has to follow all the same employment law that any employer would have. So HeartPayroll kind of emerged as a solution to that problem for them,” said Atkins, who noted that over two million payments are processed monthly on HeartPayroll.

Atkins also said that having a unique distribution angle helped CareGuide roll out and benefit from its payroll solution.

“We had this pool of families who we knew were looking for nannies, [and] who would become employers,” said Atkins. “We were able to siphon them off and feed them into HeartPayroll and leverage this non-FinTech experience…and leverage that pool of people into our HeartPayroll business.”

Atkins added that non-FinTech products drove its FinTech business, included its payroll calculator, which allows families to determine how much a nanny will actually cost, and figure out net and gross pay.

“You can either expand the market or increase the value of each customer.”
  – Alyssa Atkins, director of marketing at CareGuide

“This accomplished a couple of things. You’re priming people such that when they’re ready to use, you’ve already done something for them that they liked and they found you helpful so they’re more likely to go with you, and you’re priming them to use your service,” said Atkins, adding that finding an element that’s outside of a company’s core financial offering can help foster the overall sales and growth of a company.

According to Atkins, companies can also capitalize on opportunities by testing out different conversion strategies and leveraging competitors as customers by finding “complimentary services”, which is what CareGuide did by partnering with agencies that also match families with caregivers and still need help with payroll.

Overall, Atkins said startups should know that there are several ways to enter the FinTech space, particularly by looking at tertiary activities that take place within a company’s core services and recognizing whether there’s a financial component and opportunity within them.

“When it comes to ways to build your business, especially when you’re reaching brand limits or market limits, there are a couple ways you can do it,” said Atkins. “You can either expand the market or increase the value of each customer…we don’t necessarily have to limit ourselves by pushing into the market bounds and can just increase how much we get from each customer.”

Watch the full presentation below:

The next FinTechTO takes place on June 26. Get your tickets now!

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.