Becoming a parent can be scary, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. A child’s best interest is always at the top of a parent’s to-do list, and that includes their financial wellness. It’s time to put an end to the cycle of financial uncertainty, and it all comes down to financial education. Making responsible financial choices every day and setting good financial habits early on in life is the best way to achieve financial autonomy. That is where WALO comes into play.

In this series, we take a look at different companies within the Granicus Group Portfolio, who runs them, why they’re of interest and where they plan on going.

A Word From Granicus Group

I worked for RBC and studied finance, so personal finance & financial literacy has always been top of mind for me. But once I swerved into media, I was less and less involved in that area directly myself. When I met Rim and saw WALO, I felt that this was a company with a mission and team that could help young consumers become smarter about money, and have a positive impact on their overall lives.

Ashkan Karbasfrooshan

1. Company’s Elevator pitch.

WALO is a fintech company focused on empowering parents to teach their kids about money, using allowances, behavioural guidance and gamification.

2- Who?

Rim has over eight years of experience in corporate strategy in the financial services sector. Prior to founding WALO, Rim advised senior executives on their corporate strategies, in North America, Africa, Europe, and Australia. She has held multiple key roles such as Senior Corporate Strategy Advisor (Desjardins Group) and Strategy/Digital Consulting Manager (KPMG). Rim holds a MBA in Information Technology Management from Laval University and a Master’s degree in Management from EDHEC Business School, in France.

Chloe is an experienced UI and UX designer. She holds a College Degree in Graphic Design and has over seven years of experience in user interface and user experience design. After running her own design company, and working in Canada and Australia in the MedTech and the financial services sectors, she joined the WALO team to lead all brand, design, and customer experience efforts. 

Parth holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Concordia University and has over nine years of experience in mobile development. Prior to joining WALO, he worked for startups and also gained experience at large technology companies such as LogMeIn, Amazon, and Bell Media as a senior developer and team leader. Parth is in charge of building WALO’s technology and leading the engineering team. 

3. Why?

WALO is looking to become the leading global personal finance app that helps families achieve financial freedom. Their approach in addressing the financial literacy gap, begins with empowering parents to teach their kids about money. WALO helps alleviate this burden on parents by embedding financial education into their existing habits, and making it easy and automatic for them to help their kids develop healthy money habits.

4. How?

As mentioned earlier, WALO’s missions is to empower families with greater financial education and to ensure financial well-being for future generations. WALO’s first product, WALO Plug™, connects to any Canadian bank account and allows parents to automate allowances while seamlessly teaching their kids financial literacy, and preparing them to make smart choices with their money. WALO recently partnered with one of the big six banks to offer WALO-branded prepaid Master-cards and allow parents to open their kid’s first bank account, with a purpose.

5. Company influences?

One company that was a major influence for WALO was Wealthsimple. They demonstrated an appetite among Canadian users for innovative financial solutions, that were previously lacking in the market. Not only is there purpose in their mission, but the way in which they built an ecosystem around their core product is an inspiration and really speaks to how we envision WALO to operate in the future.

6. Personal influences?

Melanie Perkins, Rita Liu, Eva Wong are just some of the few figures we look up to. They are all females who have carved a name for themselves in a primarily male dominated market. They all faced different challenges and were able to overcome them. This is what motivates us to keep pushing through the hard times. 

7. Where do you see the business in 3-5 years?

Embedded finance is a growing opportunity in Canada, as it is becoming more and more mature in other markets. The underlying trend feeds the need of making financial services more value-added and differentiate in a traditionally commoditized sector.

We think that financial services are going through a fundamental paradigm shift and we’re positioning ourselves to become a major player in this new, value-driven financial services era, beyond traditional banking. We believe WALO is in a unique place to create a lasting impact on the financial wellness of future generations.

Aside from that, we believe the fintech industry would strongly benefit from increased diversity & inclusion. We want to see more funding going towards diverse teams, less systemic bias, and more women in Fintech