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Looking Forward: Meet a Challenger Bank

Daniel Eberhard is the CEO of KOHO, a Canadian 'Challenger Bank'.

Daniel Eberhard is the CEO of KOHO, a Canadian company offering a range of low-cost banking services. KOHO falls into the ‘Challenger bank’ category, meaning their goal is to provide similar services to a traditional bank, but with lower fees and unique services. “We offer people all the things in a bank traditionally does” explains Eberhard. “Bill payments, ATMs, e-transfers, all that good stuff. And then we do a bunch of things that a bank doesn’t do that are mostly optimized for helping people save money.”

Koho provides customers of a prepaid, reloadable Visa-backed debit card and an mobile app that gives users tools and suggestions to manage their spending and help them achieve their financial goals.

As you might expect from a 32-year old, Eberhard has strong opinions about the status quo in Canadian banking. “I’ve always kind of been good with numbers” says Eberhard “and I think that I leaned into the banking space early. A lot of things about the Canadian banking infrastructure bothered me. I think Canadian bank fees are way too high. I think it’s too complex for a lot of people. I think that the products that are sold are often not in the best interest of consumers.”

“Early in the process of understanding if I wanted to start this company, I asked 10 of my friends for their bank statements. And my brother had given me his, and he had paid $85 in bank fees in three months – and he didn’t know that he had. And so that just struck me as fundamentally wrong, and KOHO was my answer to that.”

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KOHO Financial
  • Headquarters: Toronto
  • Founded: 2014
  • Employees: 50-100
  • Funding to date: $10M
  • Key Investors: Power Financial, Portag3 Ventures
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