Thinking Capital acquires FinTech startup Ario to better support SMB recovery during the pandemic


Ario, an Ottawa-based FinTech startup that offers cost-efficient digital lending to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has been acquired by another small business lender, Thinking Capital. The purchase price of the deal was not disclosed.

“The Ario transaction will allow us to build on a cutting-edge cloud-based financial platform, designed from the ground up to serve small businesses.”

Ario’s platform uses data and algorithms to offer lending and cash flow management solutions for small businesses.

Thinking Capital said the acquisition of Ario will help it accelerate its vision in the Canadian FinTech marketplace, and better support Canadian small businesses and their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In an economy that became substantially more digital over the last months, the Ario transaction will allow us to build on a cutting-edge cloud-based financial platform, designed from the ground up to serve small businesses,” said Stéphane Marceau, CEO of Thinking Capital.

Founded in 2017 with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, Ario’s lending-as-a-service platform allows enterprises to provide their customers with financing, including invoice financing, payroll financing, and working capital.

According to Marceau, Thinking Capital and Ario have been partners for several years. In 2018, financial services company Purpose Financial acquired Thinking Capital for a reported $200 million. That same year, Purpose Financial also made a $10 million investment in Ario.

One of Ario’s offerings includes a Bill Market solution, which comprises invoice-financing options to expedite payment terms between suppliers and their customers. Bill Market is a collaboration between Equifax and Thinking Capital.

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“Bringing the two companies together will strengthen our ability to achieve our mission and empower even more Canadian small businesses to achieve great success,” said Som Seif, CEO of Purpose Financial.

In recent months, Thinking Capital claims to have reached the $1 billion mark of funding provided to Canadian small businesses. During the pandemic, Thinking Capital is offering informational resources to SMBs on public support programs such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Business Credit Availability Program, and the Canada Emergency Business Account.

Thinking Capital is one of several Canadian companies offering resources to SMBs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the summer, FundThrough committed $10 million to waive its fees for small businesses as the economy reopens from the pandemic. Vancouver’s Bench also retooled to help small businesses in the United States apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by CoWomen.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.