February 9th, 2017. HomeStars is a home services platform that helps homeowners research, contact and review independent home services contractors in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area. Homeowners use the HomeStars platform to pick contractors based on their needs and preferences, reach out to these contractors for pricing, and review their work afterward. HomeStars has been a digital success since inception, it now maintains a database of more than 2 million companies and reviews. Recently, it has been announced that Homestars will be acquired by HomeAdvisor, a platform that offers similar services to homeowners in the US. HomeAdvisor is a subsidiary of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), a public media company that owns many recognizable brands such as Investopedia, Expedia (which was spun off as its own entity), and UrbanSpoon. The acquisition is part of an ongoing growth strategy for HomeAdvisor to gain market share internationally, HomeStars will strength its Canadian presence. Since 2008, it has acquired several companies in the digital marketplace for home services space in Europe.
For transaction table, click here
February 8th, 2017. ETAS GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, is a developer of embedded systems for the automotive industry. ETAS recently established its Canadian presence in June of 2016, under the name of ETAS Embedded Systems Canada. ETAS announced that it is pending approval for the acquisition of TrustPoint, a Waterloo-based M2M communications start-up. TrustPoint established a reputation for its near-field communications ( the technology behind Google Wallet and Apple Pay), the company wants to use this technology to combat the counterfeit marketplace. It serves this purpose by producing both the hardware tags and the authentication applications of these tags. Another huge component is the machine – to – machine (M2M) technology developed at TrustPoint, which can be used in communications between vehicles, quality control of products via tagging, and collision-avoidance systems for vehicles.
Source: The Record
February 7th, 2017. Hootsuite, Vancouver-based social media management platform company, has announced its acquisition for AdEspresso, a San-Francisco based advertisement optimization company. HootSuite helps companies and ad agencies manage social media interactions across multiple social media networks, it works across different medium and platforms to create an all-in-one management services. As one of Canada’s very own unicorns, Hootsuite is valued at over $1Bn; it secured Series D round of financing in 2014 from Fidelity Investments and Accel Partners. AdEspresso’s platform helps with creating, analyzing, and optimizing Facebook advertisements. With the acquisition of AdEspresso, HooteSuite makes a move into the space of paid content management. AdEspresso is now the relaunched version of HooteSuite Ads, which was originally launched in 2015 with the purpose of focusing on promoted ad contents. For transaction table, click here.
Source: Tech Crunch
February 2nd, 2017. Canadian health-care software firm PointClickCare Technologies Inc. delayed its plans to go public and instead raised $85-million (U.S.) in a private financing led by San Francisco fund Dragoneer Investment Group.
Mike Wessinger, CEO stated that investor uncertainty about the U.S. health-care industry given new U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to undo predecessor Barack Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act made this a good time to hold off on an IPO.
PointClickCare currently provides cloud-based health-care record and revenue-management software tools to more than 13,000 North American institutions that provide care for seniors. The company earned an operating profit on revenue of $160-million last year – up from $82.1-million in 2013 – and according to Report on Business reporter Sean Silcoff, the Company expects to be profitable this year and increase revenue by more than 20%
PointClickCare’s venture financing is the latest in a string of significant private capital injections into scaling Canadian tech firms; there were eight deals for $75-million or more by Canadian firms in 2016, up from one in 2015.
Source: Report on Business
January 26th, 2017. Waterloo-based Kik Interactive, Canada’s very own Unicorn valued at US$1B, has announced the acquisition of Israeli messenger app Rounds for a reported amount of US$60 – US$80M. Kik is acquiring all 35 staff from Rounds, and plans to convert the Israel office into its first international base. Kik is a messenger app that offers live communication with various chatbots, video sharing & chatting with friends, and mobile games. Rounds offers similar products – live group chatting, mobile games, and video sharing. Both messenger apps are popular with the teen population, they have been working together prior to the transaction. Rounds is the developer behind Kik’s newest video technology. This is the second acquisition by Kik, the first one being GIF Relay in 2014. For supplementary details, click here.
January 23rd, 2017. Toronto-based Research Institute, Meta, has been acquired by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. This acquisition marks the first ever to be made by the initiative. Meta is a search engine powered by AI, the main purpose of the tool is to help make scientific research papers more discoverable and more comprehensible to research professionals. The tool uses AI to make relevant connections between research papers and draw out patterns faster than human researchers. According to TechCrunch, “[Meta]’s AI recognizes authors and citations between papers so it can surface the most important research instead of just what has the best SEO.” The acquisition comes as Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg have pledged US$3B of their personal Facebook shares towards the goal of fighting all human diseases. The Initiative has plans to make Meta free after enhancing its product.
Source: Bloomberg, Wired, TechCrunch
January 13th, 2017. Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced its acquisition of Maluuba Inc, a Waterloo-based artificial intelligence company. The company conducts research in deep learning and reinforcement learning with a focus on natural language understanding technology. Microsoft plans to double the size of Maluuba’s Montreal office within the next two years, in addition to that, it will be donating $6M and $1M to Université de Montréal and McGill University, respectively to expand AI research. This is the fourth Canadian acquisition Microsoft has made in the past two years, also the second AI company it has picked up. This will surely send a positive signal to other AI companies in the Toronto-Waterloo-Montreal region that there is significant interest in the AI space as industries continue to push for digitization.