LockDocs’ mission is to transform the way consumers interact with their financial service providers by making it much easier to share data. As a society, we have gotten used to handing over tons of sensitive and personal data – without giving much thought to what happens to that data once we do. Our platform simplifies how consumers share their identity-related data with financial service providers while also keeping track of exactly what has been shared and with whom. This customer-centric approach means that consumers only need to input data once instead of filling out the same information time and time again – and they get much greater transparency over the data that has been shared. The ultimate goal for the future is for all financial data to be easily accessible in one place.
Tell us about yourself?
My story is like many other Canadians in that my family immigrated to Canada to access better prospects for the future. I grew up on a dairy farm, and many of my family members are entrepreneurs. I knew pretty early on that I was interested in business – I completed a business degree and then decided to pursue a Chartered Accountant designation, thinking there is always work in that line of business. I started my career at Ernst & Young – I eventually moved from Audit to M&A advisory work, and from there, I made a transition into the private equity industry. I decided a few years ago that the time was right to pursue a startup. That was right before the pandemic. I’m very passionate about our mission for a lot of reasons. I’m a naturally impatient person – I’m always working on making things more efficient. Whenever I have to wait in line, I’m trying to figure out how I can make things move faster. It drives my husband crazy! At the same time, I started paying attention to how big tech companies are treating people’s data, and it didn’t sit right with me – I wanted to provide a better alternative that offers convenience without sacrificing privacy.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Focus more on celebrating the wins! Running a startup is really hard. Often, when you reach a milestone or solve a problem, the focus immediately shifts to the next goalpost. It can be easy to fall into a pattern of focusing so hard on the problems or the future that you forget about all the things that are going right.
What problem does your business solve?
Collecting and maintaining client data is a very expensive and often manual process for many financial service providers. Consumers dislike the friction involved in the onboarding process, and it’s also a huge inconvenience to update profile data with multiple providers. Everybody hates filling out forms and providing the necessary documentation that goes along with financial services.
LockDocs digitizes and streamlines the data collection process. From the consumer’s perspective, we offer a ‘one and done’ approach – meaning that once you’ve added a piece of data to the platform, you’ll never have to provide it again. LockDocs is also designed to easily push out profile updates to multiple providers. In addition to saving time and money, financial service providers get access to project management and compliance tools. We are currently focused on servicing the alternative investment industry, but we see huge potential for expansion in the future.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
If you start to think about how many times you’ve had to enter the exact same pieces of data into a form, it gets pretty frustrating. Whether you’re dealing with paper-based or digital forms, it takes time and effort to complete them. Once you have, you tend to lose track of who has what – it’s very challenging to keep your data current with multiple providers. The inspiration behind LockDocs was that we wanted to really empower consumers – we give them their own data profiles and the ability to easily share and update those profiles with their financial service providers.
Collecting and maintaining client data is also a huge and expensive problem for the financial service providers themselves. I’ve been on both sides of the equation – as a consumer in a personal capacity and also on the business side of things working in private equity. LockDocs works to ease the frustration for all parties involved! Over time, we will keep adding new features so that consumers can securely share data with anyone, as well as receive inbound financial reporting so all data can be accessed in one place.
What is your magic sauce?
Our relentless focus on creating a great experience for the consumer is what sets us apart. There are certainly competitors that offer digital experiences in financial services, but there are none that we know of offering data portability or with a similar focus on providing consumers with data-sharing transparency. We also believe that there is huge potential for us to keep developing more value-add features. Building out the platform as a single interface from the consumer perspective – a place where they can easily access and update their data – will create massive efficiencies across the industry.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
The next five years are going to be an exciting time for LockDocs. We’ve just started expanding our sales and development teams, we’re building out our advisory board with a group of incredibly accomplished individuals, and we’re ramping up our marketing efforts. We are also proud of the fact we were recently certified as a women-owned business.
There’s room for growth in so many directions. Our vision for the platform is to be the central hub for clients and providers in financial services – a completely secure, consent-based flow of information in both directions. We would love to see LockDocs as the custodian of a client’s data, managing profile updates, reporting, portfolio management, compliance, and transacting all in one place. We’re also excited to explore areas like data room capabilities and API integrations to seamlessly connect with other leading tools in the industry. There’s also a huge amount of potential in expanding the use of LockDocs to other use cases – in financial services and beyond.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
There is no shortage of challenges when launching a new business. Securing your first few customers can be a big hurdle for many startups, but we’ve been fortunate to partner with some early supporters. That initial feedback has helped us to improve the application and guide our priorities going forward. One of my favourite things about doing this is talking to customers – I like that I can go straight to the source to learn about their unique challenges and how we can help to solve them.