Posts Tagged Venture Capital

Canadian VC Funding in October and November 2015

Courtesy of Techvibes and Index.co, here are the lists of Canadian companies that disclosed new rounds of venture capital funding in October and November.

In October, 22 Canadian companies raised a combined $168 million in venture capital, including an impressive $60 million investment in the Waterloo-based drone company Aeryon Labs, which is already backed by the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund.  Click here for the full October 2015 list.

In November, 19 Canadian companies disclosed a total of $92 million in VC funding, the most prominent of which was a $34 million investment in Toronto’s VarageSale, a platform that allows customers to sell their unused clothing, toys, and household items.    Click here for the full November 2015 list.

Posted in: PE/VC News

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Vancouver’s Elastic Path Raises $10 Million

Elastic Path, a Vancouver-based customer experience software company, has raised an additional $10 million in venture capital funding from Yaletown Venture Partners and BDC Venture Capital IT Fund.  The company had previously raised over $14 million in a combination of private equity, venture capital, and debt financing.  It offers a commerce integration platform – delivered through the Adobe Marketing Cloud platform – to over 200 enterprise customers around the world and has a current headcount of over 130 employees.

To read more about this transaction, click here.

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Vidyard Raises $18 Million Series B

Kitchener-based video analytics platform Vidyard has raised an $18 million Series B round of venture capital from existing investors iNovia Capital, OMERS Ventures, and SoftTech VC as well as new investors Salesforce Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.  Tyler Lessard, the company’s CMO, said that the new capital will be used to expand its workforce from 60 to 150.

Vidyard’s founders started out as producers of online videos for tech companies, then shifted the business to video content hosting services that also features a set of analytic tools that help companies to understand how their videos are being watched, providing data that can be used by marketing automation and customer relationship management platforms.  Prior to this round, the company had raised $7.7 million in venture capital.

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BuildDirect Raises Another $50 Million

Congratulations to Jeff Booth and the team at BuildDirect on their latest round of venture capital funding.  The company raised C$50 million from existing investors OMERS Ventures, BMO Capital Markets, and Mohr Davidow Ventures.  The company’s valuation for this round was reported to be approaching C$500 million and its current annualized revenue run rate exceeds C$100 million.

BuildDirect has now raised over C$112 million through five rounds of venture capital investment.  The current funding comes on the heels of a C$30 million round in January 2014 and will be used to help build out its technology platform to make it easier for other suppliers to showcase their products on the company’s website.  It also plans to expand its physical infrastructure, increasing the number of North American warehouses from 12 to 22 in the coming year.

BuildDirect is one of the most noteworthy Canadian technology companies these days.  It was founded in 1999 and is an online wholesaler of building materials for the construction industry, tradespeople, and consumers.

To read more about this transaction, click here.

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More Big VC Fundraising for Canadian Companies

The hits just keep on coming.  This week Waterloo-based Kik announced that it has raised another $38 million in venture capital funding from new investors Millennium Technology Value Partners and SV Angel as well as existing investors Foundation Capital, RRE Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.  This brings Kik’s total funding to $70.5 million.  With 185 million users it is no wonder that the mobile messaging company has been able to attract such remarkable sums of financing from big name US investors. Furthermore, it is already putting that money to good use by acquiring the GIF messaging app Relay, along with its 700,000 users.  To read more about the deal, click here.

This transaction comes on the heels of Montreal-based Blockstream’s whopping $21 million seed round from Khosla Ventures and Real Ventures.  It is not only impressive that the cryptocurrency company was able to raise such a large sum of very early-stage capital, but that it was able to attract the likes of Khosla Ventures, which is not know to make investments of this sort in Canada.

Kudos to both of these companies.  We hope to see lots of good news from them in the future.

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Peraso Technologies Raises $20 Million in VC

Congratulations to our neighbours at Peraso Technologies on their recent $20 million round of venture capital financing (they are located in the same building as Q1 Capital, one floor down).  The company, which is in the fabless semiconductor space and is developing 60 GHz wireless chip sets, has raised over $37 million in capital to date from investors including VentureLink, Celtic House Venture Partners, iNovia Capital, and Roadmap Capital, which led the most recent round.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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Good Times for Fundraising in Canada

The past few weeks have seen some impressive fundraising activity among noteworthy Canadian technology companies.  This is great news not just for the recipients of this new capital but for Canada’s tech ecosystem as well.  These transactions include:

Zafin, which is based in Vancouver and makes relationship banking software, raised $15 million in growth equity capital from Kayne Partners, bringing its total funding to date to $20 million.  This capital will allow the company to expand its line of software products and to increase its international sales and marketing efforts.

Scribble, the Toronto-based content engagement and publishing platform provider, raised $12 million in Series C venture capital funding from existing investors Rogers Venture Partners, Summerhill Venture Partners, Georgian Partners, and Export Development Canada as well as new investor Waterloo Innovation Network.  This capital will allow the company to open overseas offices as well as to make further acquisitions following its purchase of CoveritLive earlier this year.  This investment brings Scribble’s total capital raised to date to almost $24 million.

REGEN Energy, the Toronto-based provider of electricity demand management systems, raised $12 million in Series B venture capital from existing investors BDC Capital and NGEN Partners as well as new investors EnerTech Capital, Export Development Canada, and an American utility company.  This capital will help the company expand the commercialization of its SWARM Energy Management system that helps commercial and industrial users to significantly reduce their electricity consumption.  The company has now raised a total of $25 million in capital through five rounds of fundraising.

Hubub, a social community and content platform that is also based in Toronto, raised $5 million in equity capital from Bell Media.  The company’s platform is currently in beta and a full release is expected sometime this month.  It has now raised a total of $14 million in capital.

These companies have managed to attract significant amounts of capital that will hopefully allow them to commercialize their software and hardware platforms well beyond the Canadian market.  They join other Canadian companies that have recently raised later stage rounds of equity capital funding in the eight-figure range from existing investors here in Canada as well as new investors from the US and overseas.

This is a very welcome development in the Canadian tech landscape.  Where previously companies such as these would hit a funding wall and have to be acquired by large foreign buyers at an early stage or else become irrelevant because they lacked the capital required to expand their sales and marketing beyond our borders, now they have a chance to become successful, internationally recognized technology leaders, acquirers of emerging competitors, and much larger acquisition targets themselves or candidates for substantial initial offerings in the public markets.

They are also increasing their headcounts, purchasing new equipment, and occupying larger office and industrial spaces.  This is certainly welcome news, and not just for those of us who work in or provide services to the Canadian technology community.

Posted in: M&A News, PE/VC News

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Frank & Oak Raises $15 Million in VC Funding

Montreal-based menswear designer and online retailer Frank & Oak has raised a $15 million Series B round of venture capital.  The investors include Greenoaks Capital, Investissement Quebec, Rho Canada Ventures, Real Ventures, Version One Ventures, Lightbank, and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments as well as several individual investors. The capital will be used for sales and marketing, expanding the company’s headcount, building out its website and eCommerce platform, and opening several small physical retail locations and “pop-up shops.”

To read more about this transaction, click here.

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Fresh Capital for FreshBooks

Congratulations to FreshBooks on its impressive $30 million round of venture capital funding.  The round was led by Oak Investment Partners with participation by Atlas Ventures and Toronto-based Georgian Partners.  The company plans to use the money to fund its international expansion and to grow the headcount at its Toronto office by 350 employees, which is fantastic news for the local tech community.  This is yet another sign that Canadian companies are increasingly able to attract the sizable rounds of venture capital needed to help propel them to international prominence and generate sales that allow them to compete with the biggest names in tech.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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Yo, Are You Kidding Me?!

During the frothy days of the internet bubble we had a section in our newsletter called “Dumb Deal of the Month.”  Picking the monthly deal was more difficult than you might think since there was a virtual cornucopia of stupidity to pick from.  I think one of my favorites was “Balls.com” an ecommerce company that sold all types of balls ranging from rubber bouncing balls to football, soccer and basketballs.  Dumb business model with a short history.

I started thinking about the “Dumb Deal of the Month” when I came across an article about a company called “Yo” that had managed to raise $1 million.  Yo is an app that took three months to build and allows you to send a push notification to another person with the app with the notification “Yo.”   The Israeli founder moved to San Francisco to build on his unique “context-based communication”.  The founder is quoted as saying “once you start using Yo, the way it affects your life is profound.” He noted that many of the reviews of Yo in the app store say things like “Yo changed my life.” Yes, I can believe that.  Anyone who knew that you used this app would view you as a moron and ensure you were ostracized from every day society.  As for the guy who invested the $1 million, I can only say “Yo, I hope you got your barnyard pictures returned.”   The article is a funny read.  Check it out here.

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