Reach was founded in 2016 with the goal of redefining the way retailers operate cross-border. We wanted to give even the smallest merchants, in the most remote of territories, the same advantages industry giants, like Amazon, have by operating all over the globe.
With an ever-increasing number of businesses turning to eCommerce to grow and scale, we’re helping to create a level playing field for anyone who wants to enter the competitive cross-border e-commerce arena.
Our solution uses an innovative approach to the merchant of record (MOR) model to help local businesses exploit global opportunities while optimising their shopping experience to local markets. We’re able to provide our customers with an innovative approach to borderless trade and go one step further than simply working with a traditional payment services provider (PSP). We do this by offering the best wholesale FX rates thanks to our extensive network of international banking partners and our in-depth local market knowledge, dynamic pricing strategies and regulatory guidance, which can be one of the most daunting hurdles putting merchants off tapping into their international customer base.
Any business that uses Reach to manage its global operations benefits from operating out of more than 30 of the most exciting economies – all without ever opening an office in the country. That means no complicated incorporations, no expensive overheads, and no logistical headaches for retailers.
At Reach, we believe in looking forward and breaking boundaries. We’re incredibly excited to be playing a part in the accelerating Canadian fintech scene, which boasts approximately 700 fintech businesses and more than 400 equity deals closed over the past decade, totaling more than $2.5bn USD. Canada is quickly becoming one of the most electric environments for fintech innovation and is the perfect place for us to continue building our success.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The idea for Reach was born out of my time with Calforex when I was leading the FX trading desk. We were dealing with a number of the major banks, exceeding an annual turnover of $3bn CAD and operating in regions around the globe, giving us access to a wealth of the latest ecommerce technologies. Such an all-encompassing view of the FX market allowed me to see the issues that businesses were experiencing time and time again when trading cross-borders.
Despite working with international acquiring banks, retailers were still losing huge amounts of money when completing foreign exchange transactions. These issues were compounded by the fact that businesses were having to deal with regulatory and compliance issues, not to mention the logistical challenges that made it almost impossible for them to remain truly competitive with the biggest players in the market.
My plan for Reach was to develop a company that removes the burden of cross-border transactions, giving any retailer of any size access to the suite of local knowledge, market rates, and technical support that major eCommerce players almost take for granted. We give retailers the global platform that allows them to leverage their skills in the local market across the most popular localities across the world.
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How has the company evolved during the pandemic?
As merchants looked to pivot and respond to the physical in-store restrictions, we’ve seen the demand for our services skyrocket. Businesses turned to ecommerce to stabilise their operations while the number of consumers using online shopping services has skyrocketed across almost every age group and demographic.
The growth that we’ve seen during the past 18 months has solidified our position and allowed us to invest in great opportunities like our new office space in downtown Calgary. As many organizations seek to either downsize or abandon their offices for a hybrid or fully remote model, there are also fantastic opportunities for successful businesses that are scaling up their operations to locate themselves in a prime position without paying exorbitant fees.
Most importantly, at Reach we are currently in an acceleration phase. We’re opening new markets, developing new relationships, and supporting more customers than ever before. With this growth, we wanted to ensure that we never lost sight of the people that make it all possible. We pride ourselves on our close-knit, employee-focused culture – we want every one of our employees to buy into our brand and value our success as much as the senior team and investors do.
A close team is a strong team. We’ve got to where we are today by bringing together a group of talented individuals that aren’t afraid to go against the grain, believe in their ideas and support their teammates to take those brave first steps that go down in history as industry-defining moments. But we also realize that, to have these moments, we need to support a truly diverse team. A key part of our decision to move to the Edison building was the ability to support neurodiversity in our office; we wanted to ensure that whether our staff wanted the electric feeling of a busy office space or the calmness of a quiet space to focus and create, we’re giving our staff the environment they need to keep innovating.
We’re incredibly proud to be a part of Canada’s accelerating fintech scene, as the country rapidly matures in the technology space. The opportunities that fintech offers is transforming Canada into one of the world’s leading hubs for innovation and disruption in the sector. Our goals don’t just end in North America. We’re continually expanding our overseas operations, with new hires and new spaces across the US, UK, EU, and AU. At Reach, we’re not chasing the future of cross-border ecommerce – we’re shaping it, giving every merchant the chance to benefit from the multitude of opportunities available in the global marketplace.