As the second person to join Fundsquire and being at the helm of this company since the start, Scott Spence embodies all things Fundsquire - from its vision and goals to unprecedented growth.

Establishing a company from ground up means Scott has worn many hats, the most recent one being the Global Director of Marketing.

We caught up with him to get a peek at what his journey has been like over the past half decade at Fundsquire.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your journey before Fundsquire.

SS: I’ve had a real mix of experiences prior to Fundsquire. Professionally, I worked in both the public and private sectors, in roles from marketing to operations to proprietary trader. I studied Social Science in undergrad, and then did a MBA in 2015. I was also a drummer in a band for many years, and we toured around Australia and the USA, although that does seem like it was in a different life. I moved to Canada in December 2016, and Toronto has been my home for the past five years. 

Q: You were one of the first few to get this company off the ground. How did that happen?

SS: I’ve known Damien since high school, but hadn’t met him in over 10 years when he reached out in 2017. He was in Toronto and said he wanted to grab a beer or two. We talked about this business he was looking to start in Canada and although I didn’t understand any of the acronyms he was using at the time, I was super interested in building a business from the ground up. A month or so later he asked if I wanted to see if the idea was viable in Canada. He sent me an outline of a business plan, which I worked on beginning December 2017. Six months later, we had our first customer.

That meeting has proved to be one of those real sliding doors moments in my life. If I never said yes on that Tuesday afternoon, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this. If there’s a lesson to be learned here it’s that you should “always say yes” to that drink or coffee. You never know where it will lead you.

At the start, we were moving from one problem to the next, solving as we went, and building along the way – lots of small experiments and failures, lots of testing and improving. It’s great to look back on what we’ve built, and see how it has grown over the years.

Q. How did it feel to be there, on the ground floor of this new company?

SS: It was, and is, great. I’ve been given a great opportunity here to create something from nothing, which is pretty rare.

At the start, we were moving from one problem to the next, solving as we went, and building along the way – lots of small experiments and failures, lots of testing and improving. It’s great to look back on what we’ve built, and see how it has grown over the years.

As part of the founding team, I’ve had a leading hand in everything; from the credit model, finance, capital raising, legals, to hiring, culture, and marketing – everything that’s involved in starting, and then, running a startup. Taking all that new information, piecing it together, and getting the best outcome possible for our customers, our people and our investors has been a fantastic challenge.

Q: What inspired you to join Fundsquire? 

SS: The challenge was my inspiration. Fortunately, being the first person in the Canadian operations and number two globally, I had a leading hand in defining the company’s mission, it’s values, my role and responsibilities, as well as solving the many challenges a startup faces.

For instance, our organization’s values are authentic reflections of Damien, Rowan and my beliefs on how to best run a company. Having co-authored our values, they’re a direct reflection of me personally. Being people first, delivering on our commitments, and building trust with our customers – that’s who we are and what we believe in. Finding people who share those values, and live by them as we do, has been key to our success so far and remains the driving force as we continue to grow .

L–R: Rowan Gallagher, Damien Petty, Scott Spence; March 2019

Q: What leadership style best describes you?

SS: If I were to define my leadership style, it would sit somewhere between Transformational, Servant and Laissez’ Faire. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the business, and I see my role as providing both vision and the tools to smart people to make it happen. I prefer to empower a person to thrive on their own rather than managing them closely and making sure they do everything just the way I want it. I put a lot of trust in the people who join Fundsquire.

Q: Can you share a little about what your team is focused on and where you see it heading?

SS: Our team has four goals:

A) To drive the company vision and brand over the long term

B) Drive and support revenue growth in the short-medium term

C) To build the campaigns and systems that can make (A) and (B) happen

D) Align the various functions and regions of the business to make (A), (B) and (C) happen.

As we are building the team and the capabilities from the ground up, there’s plenty of opportunity to grow! As anyone in the team will attest, what they were brought on to do has changed significantly.

We have great relationships with our customers, we always go the extra mile for them. Why? Because we’re in the same shoes – a scale-up that faces many of the same challenges our customers do.

The first iteration of Fundsquire Canada website; July 2018
L–R: Damien Petty & Scott Spence at a VeloMetro Mobility Inc. facility, a Fundsquire customer

Q: It sounds like these goals touch upon all different aspects of the business and teams. So what does collaboration look like in Fundsquire? 

SS: In an ideal state, sales and marketing work symbiotically, as a circular unit. Marketing listens to both sales and the customer, and provides them with what they need to solve their problems. Marketing also solves for future sales problems, and positions the business at a micro and macro level to prosper. This circular process continues in perpetuity. The challenge we have faced is articulating and aligning a globally dispersed business around this vision, all without being able to travel and meet in person.

Personally, I’ve always found myself inspired by and building for the future. Whether that’s building the systems that will enable us to scale, or putting into place long-term initiatives that will set the business up for the next one, two or three years. I see a big part of my role in Marketing as making that vision come alive. However, there’s also the need to get revenue through the door now. By pulling the levers we’ve created while building for the big picture, we can create demand and get leads into the sales funnel.

Q: What are some key milestones for the brand growth and marketing team in this rapidly changing, and growing, company?

SS: I took on the role as Global Director of Marketing as of June 2021. Previously, our marketing was primarily focused on website and SEO content. We were very lucky to have Alex join us in the early days to help build that out. Today, as we grow our solutions portfolio and customer base, marketing is growing as well to help all business units. We’ve had to build the marketing team from scratch as well as many of the core technical capabilities. Most of 2021 was spent doing just that.

As for brand growth, we’ve always focused strongly on customer experience, and being more than just “money” or a platform lender, and that is what our voice and mission will continue to be. We have great relationships with our customers, we always go the extra mile for them. Why? Because we’re in the same shoes – a scale-up that faces many of the same challenges our customers do.

Q: What do you see as a highlight of your job?

SS: Our goal has been to provide our customers with the capital to take their business to the next goal or milestone they are targeting. Seeing these businesses grow and mature over the years has been amazing. I’ve met a lot of people who are much smarter than I am, and are doing things I could only dream of.

On the personal side, it’s being able to build something and see it grow. This company has gone from 9 to 27 people this year, and will be 50 by Q1 2011. When I think back to those first conversations, the first customer, the first hire … it’s pretty special.

Q: Any project close to your heart at Fundsquire?

SS: At the moment, it’s building a globally connected sales and marketing team. Within that, there’s 1000 things to do … but we’re taking steps everyday to make that happen.

Q: Speaking of growth, how do you see your role evolving in the next 5 years?

SS: My role in the company is constantly evolving. Right now, I’m in the best position to grow the global business … but in 5 years, I’m not sure. Ask me again in 5 years. 

Q: You briefly touched upon this earlier, but what are some challenges you’re focused on right now? 

SS: The biggest single challenge is simply being part of leading a global company. Guiding culture, communicating across time zones, managing expectations and different people and roles – those are challenges I am constantly navigating.

This would all be easier if we could travel, meet in person, and build those really strong personal relationships that get you through the hard times. Hopefully 2022 will bring that back.

Q: Anything you would say to potential candidates about working here?

SS: If you’re looking for an opportunity to join a company that’s growing fast, will challenge you, and will give you more experience in a month than you’ll get in a year working for a big corporation, then look no further. 

Snowy caps and Scott

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Suneha Dutta

Suneha is digital marketing expert, helping innovative companies learn more about Fundsquire's seamless, timely, and innovative funding solutions. She brings diverse experience in creating compelling narratives and content across industries and markets.