London-based company accepted into prestigious fintech accelerator

400 applicants, 13 companies chosen, one of them based right here in London, Ontario. LoanConnect, considered Canada’s premier online loan search platform, was recently accepted into the Holt Fintech AI Accelerator based out of Montréal. The 12-week program, which is unique to Canada, offers participants hands-on training and access to world-class mentors, partners, and financial investments.​​​​​​

Adam Rice, CEO at LoanConnect, captured in the back row 3rd from the left, along with the 13 company representatives being accepted into the Holt Accelerator.

Considered the ‘Trivago of personal loans,’ LoanConnect helps customers find unsecured loans under $50,000, for purposes like home improvement, small purchases, growing a business, or buying a car. Their made-in-London software platform connects customers to various Canadian lending institutions and lets the consumer choose which option best suits their needs.

While their application process is already fast, LoanConnect wants to push their platform even further to provide game-changing, on-the-spot financing, whenever and wherever customers need it. This idea is why the company was chosen as one of the 13 teams to participate in the Holt Accelerator.

“We are proud to have chosen LoanConnect, with their strong senior management team, led by serial entrepreneur Adam Rice,” said Jan Christopher Arp, Founder and Managing Partner, Holt Fintech AI Accelerator. “Their consumer first product is not only a huge business opportunity internationally, but also improves the lives of under-served Canadians.”

Startup StoryA few years ago, while sitting in his dentist’s office, Adam Rice – now the CEO of LoanConnect, overheard a patience asking about in-house financing.

The dentist’s answer was no; some people made payment arrangements, but the office didn’t offer financing options. This conversation made Rice, who had previously started a real estate aggregation firm in China, stop and consider Canada’s need for fast consumer financing.

“I put on my aggregator hat and said ‘It’s becoming a lot more congested and difficult to find lenders, but it’s also more difficult for those lenders to find consumers. What if we basically created a platform where multiple lenders competed to help that individual finance and purchase in real time – truly, an open system they could use on their phone, where they searched multiple lenders, and used one of those loans to finance whatever they wanted’” he said.

The result was LoanConnect. Launched just over two years ago in 2016, the company has already grown from a one-man operation to over 10 employees, with plans to double their staff size within the next six months as they build out this newer and faster platform.

Leading the Way

Adam Rice receiving his 20 Under 40 Award in 2017. Photo credit to London Inc. Magazine

Rice, who was recognized as one of the 20 Under 40 for 2017 by London Inc. Magazine, will continue to grow LoanConnect’s London-based office while maintaining a strong emphasis on increasing their national presence, currently working with Auto Trader in Quebec before taking the partnership Canada-wide in early 2019.

“London is very well located – an easy commute to Toronto when necessary – and is big enough to have many resources to draw from as a company grows. For a company like ours with aspirations to expand to the U.S., it is a great location,” said Rice.

While London does have some established leaders in the financial technology space, such as LoanConnect, Zomaron, and Versa Bank, and the industry is growing, what’s happening in this space tends to fly under the radar here in London.

The alternative finance market is booming. There are very innovative initiatives on the horizon, some of which we’ve been introduced to through the Holt AI Accelerator,” said Rice. “LoanConnect is thrilled to be part of this leading edge of alternative finance innovation. It is my hope that articles such as this, making people aware of the London start-up community, will inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs in London to ‘go for it’ as we did.”

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