Julien Brault’s Hardbacon will seek to go public by the end of 2021.
Hardbacon is a personal finance app used by more than 25,000 Canadians. Brault said now is the time to go after an IPO, after having successfully raised two equity crowdfunding rounds.
“There’s a huge appetite for IPOs and businesses for micro caps,” Brault told WealthProfessional. ““But the conditions right now in the markets in Canada and the fact that we did equity crowdfunding, so we already have audited financial statements and already have enough shareholders due to live on the main exchanges, for us it’s the right decision. It’s exciting.”
Over 1,000 shareholders raised $1.1 million through Hardbacon’s two rounds on the regulated GoTroo and FrontFundr platforms. Brault said Hardbacon will use the money from an IPO to grow and gobble up smaller players in the space.
“Having proved our concept to thousands of satisfied users, now is the time for us to pour fuel on the fire,” said the former business reporter at Les Affaires.
Hardbacon’s app links to its users’ financial accounts and helps them plan, budget and invest. The app also enables its users to compare different financial services such as credit cards, bank accounts, online brokers and robo-advisers.
The startup’s decision to go public comes at a time when initial public offerings (IPOs) are on the rise in Canada. According to PwC Canada, the value of IPOs jumped 500% between 2019 and 2020 to reach $5 billion.
“Going through social equity financing led us to reach the minimum number of shareholders required to go public,” said Brault. “More importantly, it ensures that we’ve already complied with many of the regulatory requirements imposed on listed companies.”
Michel Lebeuf of the law firm Dunton Rainville will represent the company. Lebeuf has worked with 30 other companies that went public in Canada and the United States.
Véronique Laberge, CPA, auditor, also joins Hardbacon as its new Director of Finance ahead of the IPO. Laberge has several years of experience as CFO of publicly traded companies.
Flaming-hot experience in the den
It was only in November when things didn’t seem to go too well for Brault after he appeared on the CBC TV show Dragons’ Den.
The questions came fast and Brault seemingly didn’t stand a chance three minutes in. The Dragons’ rarely seemed impressed despite his positivity and willingness to engage in their criticism.
But Brault, an experienced marketer, knew what he was getting out of the TV appearance.
WealthProfessional noted that “Far from hurting the company, however, the silver screen appearance boosted its profile and propelled its growth.”