Canadian fintech startup aims to help e-commerce sellers around the world
Toronto-based fintech startup is building a business intelligence platform it will be a boon for online sellers all over the world.
Paperstack was founded in 2021 by CEO Assel Beglinova and CTO Vadim Lidich to help e-commerce entrepreneurs manage and grow their businesses. The platform helps online sellers automate accounting, visualize cash flow, and make better supply chain and marketing decisions, and is available for Early Access on their website and on the Shopify App Store.
Beglinova and Lidich came to Canada as international students in 2012 and 2013 respectively and met while studying at Seneca College in Toronto. Both worked in the financial industry after graduation before starting their own businesses as entrepreneurs.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the couple realized that small business owners needed more tools to help them with their financial decisions.
“In running our own businesses during the pandemic, we were shocked at the inequality of resources available to those who want to build a successful business in 2021,” Beglinova told Daily Hive. “While working in banking, I helped clients who couldn’t afford to hire a private wealth advisor or split CFO to help them make better financial decisions. I felt that millions of other people, including small business owners, could benefit from more accessible financial information, so I decided to create a platform to make it happen.
According to Liditch, There are around 40 million online merchants who sell through platforms like Shopify, Amazon, Etsy, and WooCommerce.
“Managing and growing an e-commerce business can be overwhelming,” Lidich added. “It takes a team to track income and expenses, analyze product profitability and project cash flow as well as product demand. However, without a good understanding of financial data, it will be impossible to make informed business decisions.
“We help online sellers use this data to help them manage and grow their businesses more efficiently. We unleash the potential of e-commerce founders by helping them grow and achieve their revenue goals.
Investors also saw the potential of Paperstack. The company raised $ 250,000 in pre-seed funding last summer from 18 angel investors.
“Investors who participated in our pre-seed cycle include employees from Shopify, Clearco and Wealthsimple,” Beglinova explained. “Since then, we have received investments from Techstars, and have welcomed more investors who are Techstars alumni, banking executives and employees of large technology companies.
“The funds were used to attract talented individuals who helped create the Paperstack platform as well as launch our beta program. Paperstack has grown into an amazing, smart and driven team of 12 people.
The past fall has been a busy time for the company. Paperstack has been approved to be listed on the Shopify App Store, bringing their “fractional CFO” to over 1.8 million online merchants who use the platform.
Beglinova and Lidich have also been accepted into three tech entrepreneurship programs: Communitech’s Fierce Founders Bootcamp, the Google for Startups Accelerator – Women Founders program, and Techstars’ Equitech Accelerator.
“Being accepted into leading accelerators has allowed our company to tap into an unprecedented network of advisors, investors, channel partners and clients,” said Beglinova. “Less than 3% of women receive an investment from venture capital firms. And it’s incredibly rare for a venture-backed tech company to be run by a female CEO who immigrated from Central Asia.
“What these accelerators offer, above all, is a level playing field: an opportunity to be taken seriously by investors and mentors who are not used to investing in companies run by immigrants or women. Yet being accepted is only the beginning. We then get to work proving every day why we deserve to be a “unicorn”. From customer acquisition to fundraising to product development, these accelerators have been instrumental in learning and applying best practices to our own business.
As part of Techstars’ Equitech accelerator, Beglinova and Lidich will present Paperstack on Demo Day in February to thousands of venture capitalists, corporate partners and potential investors.
“We love helping our customers and seeing the impact of Paperstack,” said Lidich. “There is nothing more rewarding than supporting small businesses across the country who struggle every day to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“We pride ourselves on making an impact. Not the kind of impact that billion dollar companies take for granted, but one that keeps immigrant-owned families and businesses alive and thrills their local communities despite all the setbacks and hardships of 2021. “
And although the company is only one year old, Beglinova and Lidich have big plans for Paperstack.
“Our goal is to enable 40 million online sellers around the world to compete with brands like Nike, Apple and Zara, ”Beglinova said. “Just because you’re a ‘small business’ doesn’t mean you can’t. “
“What was reserved for the privileged few is now available to all e-commerce sellers thanks to the technology that we democratize here at Paperstack. And our hope is that we can continue to do so for many years to come. “