Startups can often measured by the early choices that define their business. For new HIGHLINE portfolio investment Control, the company made two big bets: mobile-first, and deep integration with Stripe’s open payment APIs.
In the HIGHLINE Startup Zone at Dx3 2015, BetaKit sat down with Control founder and CEO, Kathryn Loewen, to talk about how these bets informed the company’s B2B payments management platform.
While Loewen’s prioritization of mobile should come as no surprise to anyone currently tracking the FinTech explosion in Canada, her perspective on Stripe may be. Stating that “what Stripe is doing is one of the most progressive things I’ve seen in the whole FinTech industry,” Loewen claimed that building on top of Stripe was a competitive advantage for the company, as it provided an early customer base and the opportunity to eventually go cross-platform with sales and traction. She equated the strategy with Hootsuite’s early rise to prominence by focusing on the open APIs provided by Facebook and Twitter, which is telling considering that Hootsuite’s CEO Ryan Holmes is a member of Control’s advisory team.
Loewen also spoke quite openly about the value for a FinTech startup to participate in a Toronto-based event, and expressed excitement about the recent launch of MaRS’ FinTech cluster. Based in Vancouver, Loewen indicated that companies like Control are “not even aware of the success stories happening around Canada,” which points to the need for more national connectors like HIGHLINE and Dx3.
You can listen to the full interview from Dx3 2015 below.
Disclosure: BetaKit’s East and West Coast offices are housed in HIGHLINE’s Vancouver and Toronto co-working spaces.