Since its last funding round in September, Neo has nearly doubled in size to 650 employees from 350, with plans to add another 100 this year, and increased the number of retailer partners on its rewards platform to 7,000 from 4,000. By the end of this year, it plans to enter the mortgage market with loans done through partnerships with financial institutions.
“The Canadian market is still entrenched with the big five banks,” Neo Chief Executive Officer Andrew Chau said in an interview. “When we think about challenges, we really see it more as an opportunity to bring new options and competition to the market.” In April, Neo launched a low-fee wealth management product by partnering with OneVest Management Inc., a Canadian firm that’s registered as a portfolio manager. Several Canadian startups in the past two years have become unicorns, the term for new companies reaching a $1 billion valuation, including Freshbooks, Clio, Visier and Clearco.