Meet Julien from Hardbacon, an impact-driven fintech startup on the edge of launching an innovative mobile application to invest on the stock market.
From business journalist to entrepreneur
On Monday, during Queen City Fintech Demo Day, Julien must have had thousands of ideas coming to his mind: what an incredible journey, from writing articles on latest finance news at Les Affaires, Quebec top business newspaper, to raising more than 6 times the expected amount on Ulule, and being part of the prestigious accelerator by Bank of American and Wells Fargo in North Carolina.
Indeed, this is a promising success story that emerged from a desire to serve young generations’ financial aspirations and improve online brokerages and robo-advisors, Julien found out that it clearly needed improvements.
He therefore started by offering “Not Another Boring Course About Investment” through the crowdfunding campaign on Ulule: 4 hours of video content with a retail value of $100, offered at $50. Thanks to an efficient network of ambassador and really speaking to Millennials, it was a real success.
The online course was only the first step to a wider project: creating a platform that provides financial information to everyone and that allows to invest on the stock market.
With a dream team of 2 backend developers, 2 iPhone developers, one designer and one financial analyst, and this initial bundle of money, Hardbacon started working on creating a stock brokerage comparison tool and a mobile app.
“We want to do what Bloomberg did for financial institutions but for random people. Make investment accessible to everyone.”
Targeting the right public
The Ulule campaign made them realize that contributors were actually around 35-36 years old. Millennials are not yet considering investment as a priority as an initial capital of $5000 is usually needed to invest on the stock market. Instead, contributors and target customers are thinking about ways to better handle their money, thinking about wealth and pension management.
Since the Canadian financial market is highly concentrated, Hardbacon is not considered as a threat by brokers, banks and other financial actors. In fact, Hardbacon is earning money by selling robot-advisors services but it is also providing a unique portfolio analysis to clients.
“We want our clients to manage their portfolio by themselves, thanks to Hardbacon advice”
It’s time to disrupt the US market
As entrepreneurship is about always targeting new challenges, Julien is now ready to conquer the US market. Because it has similar stock market structures but with different brokers. And because it allows to offer more services to clients than Canada: in the US, Hardbacon can add a financial recommendation dimension by registering to the Security Exchange Commission.
“We want to analyse the market and provide recommendations to our clients. Ideally, the US version of the website will include a chatbot.”
For now, Hardbacon’s app has just launched, and it’s only the beginning.