Montreal firm acquires Ottawa-based fintech platform Ario

Fintech stock art

An Ottawa-based fintech platform that provides digital lending services to small and medium-sized enterprises has been acquired by a Quebec company that bills itself as Canada’s largest non-bank lender to small businesses.

Montreal's Thinking Capital said this week it’s completed a deal to acquire Ario, a locally headquartered startup that uses proprietary data and AI technology to offer lending and cash-flow management services to small businesses. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to have become one company dedicated to empowering small businesses as they either find their way back to growth after a difficult period or to simply accelerate their continued growth momentum,” said Ario co-founder and CEO Avinash Chidambaram, who will now become chief product officer at Thinking Capital. 

Founded in 2017, Ario has offices in Toronto and Ottawa. According to its LinkedIn profile, the company has 21 employees.

Ario and its new owner already have a history of doing business together. Thinking Capital’s parent company, Purpose Financial, invested $10 million in the Ottawa company two years ago in a bid to help it expand its banking-as-a-service platform.

“We are proud of the team at Ario for what they have built over the past three years and we are excited to have the power of the combined entity with Thinking Capital,” Purpose Financial chief executive Som Seif said in a statement. 

“Bringing the two companies together will strengthen our ability to achieve our mission and empower even more Canadian small businesses to achieve great success."

Acquired by Purpose Financial in 2018, Thinking Capital says it has provided more than $1 billion in total funding to Canadian SMEs.