The Backbone — Episode 18: Bootstrapped to $12M Series A & What it Means for the Finance Function

Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub

On this episode of The Backbone I chat with Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub.

For more background on the launch of this podcast, check out Introducing The Backbone!

Joining me on this episode is Jennifer Pollock, Director of Finance & Operations at RateHub. Ratehub Inc. connects Canadians to the best financial products on the market through its financial product comparison site, Ratehub.ca, and mortgage brokerage, CanWise Financial.

Jennifer has led Ratehub Inc.’s Finance and Operations department since 2016. One of her first achievements was successfully preparing Ratehub Inc. to raise its first round of venture capital funding, a $12 million Series A investment. Jennifer has since worked closely with the senior leadership team and the board understand Ratehub Inc.’s biggest opportunities for growth.

As a passionate advocate for financial literacy, since her first day, Jennifer has been dedicated to helping Ratehub Inc. achieve its goal of empowering Canadians to make smarter financial decisions.

On this episode of The Backbone, I chat with Jennifer about:
  1. Her move into tech from EY and concurrently managing various brands at Ratehub;
  2. What Ratehub is all about;
  3. The learnings from raising a $12M Series A round;
  4. The biggest change as a finance leader of venture-funded company
  5. The importance of the finance function at a technology company

We close things off with a quickfire round:

  • Your go to online resource for all things startup finance related
  • Your favourite productivity hack
  • Tech jargon that makes you cringe
  • The best advise you've received
  • One thing you don’t leave the office before finishing
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Check out previous episodes of The Backbone

Episode 17: The Added Complexities of Hardware Tech Companies & How to Price a New Medical Device w/ Travis Phung, Director of Finance & Administration at Exact Imaging

Episode 16: Monetizing a Free Product & Navigating Complexities of the Financial Services Space w/ Brian Wu, Finance Lead at Borrowell

Episode 15: Serving the Restaurant Industry & Breaking Into Tech in a Finance Capacity w/ Rob Curcio, Director of Finance at TouchBistro

Episode 14: Scaling the Finance Function, Fundraising, Making Acquisitions & Operationalizing Metrics w/ Ryan Magee, Chief Financial Officer at Cority

Episode 13: Serving the SMB Market at a Publicly Traded Software Company vs a High-Growth Startup w/ Darren Wood, Director of Finance & Operations at Jobber

Episode 12: Leading Finance at NPOs to High Growth Tech & Bootstrapping vs Raising Venture Capital w/ Anthony Scolaro, VP Finance & Operations at Lucova

Episode 11: Raising $17M Series A Round & What it Means to be ‘Venture-Backed w/ Frank Jessop, Director of Finance, Sensibill

Episode 10: Vendor Selection Considerations & Viewing the Finance Function from an Engineering Perspective w/ Gerti Dervishi, VP Finance at Flybits

Episode 9: The Process of Acquiring Companies as a Startup & Best Practices for Investor Relations w/ Ryan Levenberg, VP Finance at Q4 Systems Inc.

Episode 8: Raising VC Funding to Executing an $110M Acquisition + Demystifying the Progressive Roles of the Finance Leader within a Startupw/ Dwayne Walker, CFO at LookbookHQ

Episode 7: Going Through an Acquisition of an eCommerce Company & Keeping Both Sides of a Marketplace Happy w/ Elena Armstrong, Co-Founder & VP Finance at Exact Media

Episode 6: From Finance to Founding an IoT Startup & Bootstrapping vs. Raising Venture Capital w/ Sacha Sawaya, Co-Founder and CFO at Litmus Automation

Episode 5: Difference Between Being an Advisor vs Finance Leader for Tech Startups & When to Raise Capital w/ Eugene Bomba, CFO & VP Operations at ThoughtWire

Episode 4: Transitioning from Professional Services to Finance Leader of Pre-Revenue Tech Startup w/ Chris Parkes, CFO at NuraLogix

Episode 3: Why Finance & Operations go Together & Dealing with the Highly Regulated Financial Services Industry w/ Leen Li, Head of Finance at Wealthsimple

Episode 2: How Finance Scales Growing from 25 to 200+ Employees & Transfer Pricing w/ Les Cullen, Director Finance & Operations at TopHat

Episode 1: Managing Churn & Being Private Equity Backed w/ Daniel Israelsohn, VP Finance & Operations at Firmex


The Backbone is a podcast hosted by Shubham Datta, that explores the journey inside finance at a startup. Each episode features a finance leader (Director/VP, Finance or CFO) that:

  • shares their story of how they entered the world of startups,
  • explains what their company does
  • describes unique challenges he/she faces in their role
  • shares expertise relating to specific topics on the mind of finance leaders