Alyssa Furtado is the CEO and co-founder of Ratehub Inc.
What was the company’s journey like to get to where it is now?
Our journey to get where we are today has been a long and challenging one, but we’ve definitely made sure to have fun along the way. So, this year is Ratehub’s ninth year in business, which seems crazy to say out loud, and we’ve been through it all. For the first 5 years, we ran the business out of my townhouse at Yonge and Balliol and we grew to about 13 people all working out of one place.
After 5 years, we moved into our first office in downtown Toronto, and that’s really where we started to scale up with the business. That brought a ton of challenges in and of itself. We had originally just focused on mortgages and we started to expand into credit cards, into deposit products, and with all of the complexity, we were having to learn on the fly how to simplify the business, how to scale up and continue to grow.
In the 3rd phase, we’d always focused on mortgages and we decided to launch an in house brokerage. That was an incredible challenge and my cofounder James Laird came on operationally, and we moved into yet another location.
The final phase of the business was raising our first round of funding which happened last year. We raised a Series A for $12 million and now we’re into, you know, a whole other end of challenges, trying to take the company to the next level.
How do you as a leader ensure that your culture, is a culture, that creates success?
As a leader, I have to work really hard to build the type of culture that breeds and encourages success and I think one of the most important things to do is to constantly reflect internally and ask what I can do better and what the company can do better. You can’t be afraid of hearing negative feedback or hearing constructive things that the company could do better. You really have to embrace it, look internally, and really ask yourselves, “What are the most important things that Ratehub gets better to encourage that we retain our best people and that we continue to drive towards success.”
What is it about your company’s culture that drives success?
To me, a winning culture means a few things, so first off, it means that our team members are coming to work every day excited to take on the challenges that the company is facing. It also means that they’re doing this alongside people that they love and motivate them to work even harder and finally, that they’re continuing to build their skillset and growing their careers.
What’s next for Ratehub?
When I looked at the future and answered what’s next for Ratehub, there are a few things that really clearly come to mind. So first off, we’re really excited about getting into insurance and helping Canadians make better decisions on their auto insurance and home insurance. We’re also really looking to change the mortgage industry and help Canadians do more of the mortgage process online. And then finally, in order to be successful at both of these things we need to establish ourselves as an employer of choice and creating a winning culture that we can retain the best and brightest people in Toronto.