Canada’s favourite Investing Platform started as an Excel Sheet

Prashant Bagga
2 min readJun 13, 2022

As of 2021, Wealthsimple held over C$15B in assets under management.

Most Canadian millennials now do their spending, investing & taxes on this platform.

Earlier, you had to be rich and smart to invest.

Wealthsimple made it “simple” and beautiful.

After selling his startup, Michael Katchen set out to build a robo-advisor.

A sophisticated self-managed portfolio that you can set and forget.

Their first product? not a beautifully designed app — but an excel sheet he built in 3 hours.

It was a portfolio construction tool.

Input your age, income & risk profile. It spat out a set of instructions on how to build your portfolio.

Sent it to 10 friends. They loved it but said — “won’t use unless it tracked performance too”.

Got some validation.

Onto next iteration.

Built a simple web app. Added portfolio tracking. It would tell how your portfolio is doing on a regular basis.

Sent to friends. They loved it but said — “please just do the trading for me”.

Perfect validation to build the robo-advisor.

Built a team. Launched Wealthsimple Invest.

And soon, went on to build a portfolio of financial products & services like Trade, Crypto, Cash and Tax.

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Prashant Bagga

Product Manager • previously @Microsoft • Musings at