Member Exclusive, SMB Finance

How Relay, a Toronto-based neobank, is gaining ground in the US SMB market

  • What motivated Relay's Canadian founders to target the US market?
  • Co-founder & CEO Yoseph West shares about Relay's US SMB target market, growth strategies, and the challenges associated with serving this segment
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How Relay, a Toronto-based neobank, is gaining ground in the US SMB market

Almost six years ago, Yoseph West and Paul Klicnik [VP of Engineering] founded a Toronto-based fintech startup Relay.

Relay provides an online business banking and money management platform that automates finance functions for SMBs by integrating with their back-office systems. This B2B company serves SMB owners across the US in various sectors, including professional services, retail and e-commerce, non-profits, trades, and real estate.

The US SMB market is highly competitive, with many native players vying to establish their presence within the sector and meet SMBs’ expectations through new offerings. So what motivated Relay’s Canadian founders to target the US market with their fintech venture?

The inspiration to operate in the US

Before founding Relay, co-founder and CEO, Yoseph West gained experience working on platforms for the US market by developing accounting technology at Hubdoc and Wave. Both companies are also based in Toronto and cater to American small businesses.

The decision to establish a company serving the US market was driven by the market size and the opportunities it offers. It’s also better for securing funding.

“Relay has served US SMBs since day one,” West told Tearsheet. “When we founded the business almost six years ago, we witnessed the pace of innovation and strong presence of consumer fintech products like Venmo and PayPal in the US. Less developed was the fintech market serving businesses, specifically SMBs, so we jumped at the opportunity to build a platform that serves American business owners.”


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