Toronto’s Planswell Raises $6.8 Million, Expands Financial Services Nationally

Toronto’s Planswell is lifting the startup’s waitlist for its online financial planning engine, opening up its software Canada-wide and revealing $6.8 million in new funding.

Planswell began operating in November 2016 and initially gave Canadians access to its free financial plans through a waitlist, a process that built personalized plans for over 17,000 people in the country.

The startup announced today it is officially ending the waitlist and making the software available immediately to Canadians living in B.C, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Answering a few dozen questions online—a process Planswell said should take someone under five minutes—the startup can create a fully customized financial plan that it says is easy to understand.

Unlike plans provided by traditional financial advisors, Planswell outlines what people need to do to start saving for their future in a single page, using layman’s terms and removing financial jargon. Making the plan easy to understand was a priority for Planswell CEO Eric Arnold.

“We’ve seen that basically no one knows what they need to do on a monthly basis to maintain their lifestyle in retirement,” said Arnold in a statement. “We can’t wait to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity to secure their financial future, regardless of their current status.”

The online plan shows people how to maximize their investment potential, minimize their borrowing costs and financially protect themselves. From there, Canadians can either follow the free plan on their own or tap Planswell to guide them through each step for a fee.

“Over 100,000 financial advisors across Canada will tell you that their ideal client has $1 million or more in investable assets. That’s just under 1 percent of the population,” said Arnold. “The other 99 per cent have been completely ignored, or worse, have been targets of predatory, high-fee products in the absence of a plan. We’re finding we can save Canadians hundreds of thousands of dollars towards their retirements through better planning.”

The company’s free online financial planning solution gained the attention from a range of investors as Planswell also announced the startup secured a $6.8-million seed round. Some of that funding came from former senior executives from some of Canada’s top financial institutions, according to the company.

“We’re using our seed capital to continually enhance our financial planning software and to provide free financial plans to Canadians across the country,” said Arnold.

The fintech startup can also help people invest their money through Planswell Portfolios, an operating name of Higgins Investment Group, a registered portfolio manager in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.