10 to Watch Winner 2020: DivDot

By digitizing business payments, DivDot solves a major pain point for companies.

For businesses, cheques are an increasingly outdated, expensive and inefficient way to move funds. Enter DivDot, a Victoria-based financial tech firm whose integrated, secure payment solution means simplified payments, improved cash flow, less paper and less time spent preparing and mailing cheques or standing in line at the bank.

DivDot is the brainchild of Matthew Smith, James Davidson and Nick Addison — three graduates of the University of Victoria’s software engineering program.

“Our vision is to provide a solution so businesses don’t have to worry about payments being a pain point,” says Addison. Users can quickly import invoices from accounting software and collect payments faster by sending digital requests to customers who pay directly from their bank accounts through a simple check-out process. The system is compatible with all major banks in Canada and most credit unions. Customers enjoy no-limit transactions for a flat fee within Canada.

Since its August 2019 launch, DivDot has processed hundreds of thousands in payments through its platform. Where do the founders see DivDot in five years?

“We hope to have captured most of Canada’s cheque market,” says Smith, “which is 750 million cheques a year in Canada.”

A Q & A with Matthew Smith, James Davidson and Nick Addison

What was the best business advice you ever received?

James: This advice was given to me by my dad: He said when things get stressful, you need to treat it like a nine-to-five job. You need to disconnect and hang out with your friends or go to the gym or go out and enjoy nature.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Matt: Don’t fall in love with an idea. Talk to people. All your assumptions are wrong.

What was the scariest part of starting up?

Nick: The scariest part was knowing the statistics of the failure rate of startups, in general, and being able to defy that and having a reason to defy that.

This article is from the April/May 2020 issue of Douglas.