Profitual’s fintech services keep it personal for venture seekers

Posted on April 01, 2024 | Atlantic Business Magazine | 0 Comments


Ray Fitpatrick and Sydney Rankin (Cameron Fitch Photo UNB)

University of New Brunswick grad Ray Fitzpatrick (BBA ’09) offers no apologies for raiding his alma mater’s pool of student talent to staff his new fintech firm. “I’d been teaching courses in entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Management for seven years,” says the CEO and co-founder of Profitual, a financial planning and analysis software company based in Fredericton. “Why wouldn’t I go to my old stomping grounds for the best and brightest?”

He has a point. Barely 16 months after its 2022 launch, Profitual is making a name for itself specializing in the kind of granular analysis necessary to court venture capitalists that most small tech start-ups in the region would kill for but usually can’t afford. To date, the firm has worked with over 60 companies, seen 5X monthly revenue growth, raised $1.25 million, and scaled its team from four to 11 full-time employees, many of whom he once taught.

People like Sydney Rankin (UNB, BBA ’20), Profitual’s Fintech Lead. She joined the firm right out of the gate, uses phrases like “the importance of democratizing financial intelligence,” and likes the idea that for all its surety Profitual is, itself, an early-stage startup. “I think that helps keep us empathetic,” she says. “There are lots of excellent folks who have the mindset, the skill set and the drive to go and work at a start-up and become a really important part of succeeding against even the toughest odds.”

“Most of the folks invested in start-ups have engineering or computer science backgrounds; none of them are accountants. So, that’s where we come in with our platform.”

—Ray Fitzpatrick, CEO and co-founder of Profitual

Make no mistake Ray says, for the mass of small tech companies in this region, those odds are daunting. “You look at any of the big accounting firms and, from a book of business point of view, start-ups don’t mean anything to them,” he says. “Most of the folks invested in start-ups have engineering or computer science backgrounds; none of them are accountants. So, that’s where we come in with our platform.”

The “platform” is exactly that. Clients pay as little as $99 a month (an upgraded “personalized platform orientation tailored to your company” costs $199/month) to sign up and enter their company information, which then gets used to generate models – everything from budgets, forecasts and account balances to business targets and three-year milestone markers.

“Theoretically, our platform could work for any small or medium-sized business,” Ray says. “We figured we could automate a bunch of things to provide an analysis to any company, but then we also put our venture capital lens on top of everything to hit the metrics that those start-up companies with high growth expectations need to attract investors.”

Ray thinks Profitual already gets clients “80 per cent to where they want to be” without having to hire their own financial analysts to look at everything and hopes artificial intelligence, insinuated into the platform, will someday make that “100 per cent.” But the human component is still important, he says. “We are basically augmenting any deficiencies in the platform with people.” That’s where the “best and brightest” come in.

“The course that Ray and I currently teach at UNB is the Student Consulting Practicum with 40 students, runs in partnership with the Creative Destruction Lab accelerator program in Halifax,” she says. “We think it’s a great opportunity to get hands on experience for students, especially for those who are just trying to figure out where they could add value and where they can make a contribution after they graduate.”

If recent history is any indication, and Profitual sticks to its growth curve, some of them may even wind up working for her. Says Ray: “I feel like the Faculty of Management and I have kind of grown up together.”

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Photo: Ray Fitpatrick and Sydney Rankin (Cameron Fitch Photo UNB)

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