Banking & Personal Finance | Toronto, ON | Founded: 2015 | Employees: 12 | www.evree.ca
Last updated January 14, 2019 | To download a PDF version, click here.
Evree is a Toronto-based technology company that utilizes behavioural economics to improve customers’ financial habits, increase their confidence and accelerate their savings. Evree is a progressive web application (PWA) that enables an individual to set financial goals and save towards those goals through a gamified experience.
The user receives coaching in the form of personalized challenges, inspirational coaching, unbiased advice, and timely reminders to help them make better financial decisions. Evree’s financial coaching tool is based around the Nobel-Prize-winning concept of “nudging” wherein it provides reminders and uses reinforcement techniques, including financial rewards, to guide the consumer to make better financial decisions. Evree generates revenue by partnering with companies that offer products and incentives that benefit the consumer and accelerate their savings
journey towards their goal.
Doug Steiner: Founder and CEO (2015-Present). Previously: Partner, BEworks (2010-2017); CEO, Perimeter Financial (2005-2009); CEO, E*TRADE Canada (1997-2000); CEO, VERSUS Technologies (1991-2000). Education: MBA, Quantitative Finance, International Institute for Management Development.
Louis Ng: President and COO (2015-Present). Previously: Partner, Kakayshun Corp. (2010-Present); Partner, BEworks (2010-Present), Corporate Development Consultant, Scotia Capital (2009-2011); CFO, Perimeter Financial Corp. (2003-2009). Education: BComm, Economics and Finance, University of Toronto.
Brendan Best: Vice President of Technology (2016-Present). Previously: Technical Director, Mirium Agency (2015-2016); Technical Director, Twist Image (2013-2015); Software Development Manager, CGI (2012-2013); Technical Lead, Devlin (2010-2012); Technical Lead, Critical Mass (2008-2010). Education: BA Hons, Mass Communications and Political Science, Carleton University.
With a long history of investing and advising in financial technology companies, Doug Steiner and Louis Ng decided in 2015 that they would use their behavioural economics background to start a new venture called Evree. They intended for Evree to use Nobel-prize-winning behavioural theory and principles to help Canadians make better financial decisions. They had observed that the increasing levels of consumer debt in Canada were only accentuated by financial institutions selling unneeded products to financially-distressed consumers. As such, they
created a product that was free and solely intended to help customers achieve better financial health. Over the last three years, Doug Steiner and Louis Ng have developed a team of behavioural scientists, product designers, engineers, and software developers, and have created an application that is currently in its beta version. As of 2017, Evree announced that they would partner with financial institutions using a SaaS model to help enhance the financial health of consumers that were either forgetful in debt repayments or struggling to make repayments. In early 2018, they began validating the engagement platform with an Evree-branded direct-to-consumer approach.
As of October 2018, Evree is funded through two seed rounds.
Key Corporate Developments
Evree targets individuals through an digital application that aids in financial planning. The application provides a seamless user experience with gamification through small goals such as creating an emergency fund or saving for a vacation. By coaching the user to define concrete savings intentions and scoring a client’s progress, nudges are introduced through rewards to encourage users to achieve their goals. On the back end, Evree leverages consumer behavioural and saving data to corporate sponsors and financial institutions. Through such partnerships,
Evree is able to 100% subsidize the cost to the consumer cover the cost of rewards.
Evree offers only one product: its progressive web application where customers can engage in long-term financial planning. However, they are currently developing a native app that will be available in the app store on Android and iOS. Through this application, customers can:
- Connect their existing saving account where Evree will track contributions to help the user stay on track
- Set financial goals that wish to reach (e.g. emergency funds, vacations, a house, a car, paying off debt etc.)
- Determine periodic monetary contributions to such goals and engage in savings challenges
- Earn rewards based on completing challenges and demonstrating progress towards goals
Healthy financial planning habits are reinforced and ascertained through behavioural economic techniques such as nudging. Evree’s only product is currently free.
Evree uses artificial intelligence in combination with behavioral science to offer personalized coaching to help consumers develop better savings habits. The application “reacts” to users behaviour and offers nudges for inappropriate behaviour or positive reinforcements for good behavior. In addition, Evree uses the Flinks API to connect the customer’s existing bank account to Evree’s web-based application. Although Evree works best when connected to a uses bank account by leveraging accountability, Evree is also available without connecting an account.
Evree’s product is distributed through a progressive web application, but it is currently developing a mobile application. In order for Evree to function, it connects to chequing and savings accounts across 15 Canadian financial institutions.
Evree markets its product through traditional paid media channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It also promotes financial literacy and the added benefits of a personalized digital coach in its online magazine articles on its website.
These articles typically educate the reader how the different ways we make ‘irrational’ spending decisions as explained by behavioural science and relevant academic research. They aim to provide the user with actionable tools to overcome these psychological biases and make better spending decisions. In addition, Doug Steiner, along with behavioural economists Stephanie Bank and Tinuke Oluyomi Daniel directly market the Evree product through published articles on the Globe & Mail (where Doug has been a long-time contributor) and through conferences, such as those held by the OSC.
- Mylo – (Montreal, QC) Mylo enables consumers to connect their bank account to a Mylo account, round up purchases to the nearest dollar, and invest the spare change. It is an alternative to Evree that focuses on unconscious saving versus financial planning.
- RBC Nomi – (Toronto, ON) RBC’s Nomi is a mobile application that helps users monitor their day-to-day spending habits by providing personalized trends, alerts, and overviews based on one’s bank activity.
Corporate Profile Created By: Andrew Holroyd, Ivey HBA