Uncovering and supporting great start-up founders and CEOs is something we strive our hardest to do at Information Venture Partners.
One of the key elements of any investment we make is believing we have at least one – to borrow a sports analogy – “franchise player” on the founding team. Someone we can undoubtedly build a unique team culture around, and someone who has the vision and drive to build a meaningful business.
More often than not we meet these founders early, before they are ready for a Series A financing (where IVP starts to invest capital). Their character makes us feel compelled to help them succeed and hopefully earn us the opportunity to support their growth in any subsequent rounds of financing.
Corey Gross, Founder and CEO of our latest investment Sensibill, is one of those franchise players. We met Corey over four years ago when he started the company from scratch as he entered Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, a.k.a. the DMZ.
Corey’s vision of building Receipts as the next killer app for mobile banking immediately resonated with the team at IVP, who have an extensive background in digitizing traditional banking in the online and mobile generation. Receipts are cumbersome to deal with, but they are important to save for taxes, expense management, returns, warranty claims, and more. We helped Corey get early meetings with potential customers to help validate the value proposition for banks and merchants alike.
Corey turned his vision into a reality by recruiting a solid technical founder, Jamie Alexander, and a top operations and delivery specialist in Izabella Gabowicz to ensure Sensibill could successfully meet the expectations of the world’s largest financial institutions. We tracked Sensibill’s progress carefully. When Corey tells us he’s going to do something, he does it. In the last two years, Sensibill has built a world class product, secured some of the world’s largest financial institutions as customers and built an incredible pipeline of opportunities [NTD: AT// Stayed vague on # of customers to be consistent with the company’s public facing statements].
Today, Sensibill allows bank customers to store, organize and retrieve paper and electronic receipts as an extension of the services offered through their mobile banking wallet applications. With a rapidly growing dataset of valuable customer insights derived from Sensibill’s collection of granular item-level receipt data, we believe there is tremendous global market potential for Sensibill’s enterprise-grade receipt management technology to engage customers, contextualize offers, personalize experiences and so much more.
Sensibill is the fourth investment from IVP Fund II and is closely aligned to our core investment thesis of B2B FinTech and Enterprise SaaS companies bringing needed technological innovation to financial institutions. Sensibill is a perfect example of a FinTech and Enterprise SaaS firm that enables financial institutions to deliver innovative applications to their client base, enriching the relationship, attracting new customers and retaining the best customers. As a Toronto based firm, Sensibill highlights the growing Fintech ecosystem developing in Toronto, North America’s second largest financial services centre.
We are incredibly excited to partner with Sensibill in their vision to eliminate the “shoebox” of receipts and provide the best digital experience for mobile banking customers today.