When you think about California’s Bay Area, you can’t help but associate it with years of powerful technological innovation. From industry giants like Apple and Facebook to the latest crop of bleeding edge startups, the convention has held that if you’re looking for access to the latest and greatest in technology funding, resources, mentorship and industry expertise, you’re headed to Silicon Valley.
Canadian tech firms have rapidly developed so as to call the Greater Toronto Area their own version of Silicon Valley, and much of this geographic shift has progressed thanks to the financial technology sector.
The move makes good sense. Toronto is home to a growing cluster of tech companies that have chosen Toronto not only as their HQ, but also their R&D hub, thanks to the country’s generous R&D tax credit program that encourages more and more businesses to take a deeper dive into R&D intensive projects. The city is also home to nearly half of Canada’s 60,000 FinTech workforce, known for their advanced academic credentials and knowledge of new technologies.
Toronto is a locus for venture capital and angel investment, including powerful incubators like MaRS and the Ryerson DMZ. This investment is increasingly sourced not just domestically but from wealthy American tech investors such as Versant and Union Square, whose awareness of potential instability in their own domestic markets has awakened significant interest in Canadian firms.
According to data from Invest in Ontario, the city of Toronto:
- Has one of the world’s soundest banking systems.
- Is North America’s second largest financial services hub after New York City in terms of industry employment.
- Is home to Canada’s four largest banks.
- Hosts over 80% of the foreign banks operating in Canada.
- Hosts more than half od the world’s top 10 banks by market capitalization.
- Has eight of the 10 largest Canadian asset managers.
- Is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), world’s ninth largest equity exchange in terms of market capitalization.
All this means that, as of 2018, Canadian fintech investment has reached new heights. Nationwide investment in financial technology is expected to exceed $15 billion, with more on the way as major banks and financial institutions continue to express interest in merging their service models with the data driven mandates of fintech firms. Progressa is proud to be made in Toronto and Vancouver!