TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2020 – Waterstone Human Capital, Canada’s leading cultural talent management firm, has announced the 2020 winners of the Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and Canada’s Most Admired CEO™ program. This national program recognizes best-in-class Canadian organizations and CEOs for fostering high performance corporate cultures that help sustain a competitive advantage.
Organizations and CEOs are recognized as national winners in categories including: Enterprise, Mid-Market, Growth, Emerging, and the Broader Public Sector. This year, for only the second time since the Canada’s Most Admired CEO Award was introduced in 2014, the Board of Governors voted to present the Transformational Leadership Award, recognizing a CEO who has had an extraordinary impact on the growth and evolution of an organization’s corporate culture and overall performance.
“At Waterstone we believe corporate culture drives performance and that it’s your organization’s greatest asset,” says Marty Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Waterstone Human Capital and Chair of the Canada’s Most Admired™ program. “This year’s award winners each demonstrate a commitment to culture as competitive advantage. They set a truly admirable example of how cultivating and sustaining great cultures can ultimately drive outstanding growth and performance.”
Canada’s Most Admired™ CEOs of 2020
Broader Public Sector: Margaret McNeil, CEO, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Growth: Joanna Griffiths, Founder and CEO, Knix
Mid-Market: Jack Newton, Co-founder and CEO, Clio
Enterprise: Dani Reiss, President and CEO, Canada Goose
Transformational Leadership: Michael Medline, President and CEO, Empire Company Limited
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Broader Public Sector
ALS Society of Canada (Toronto, ON)
Covenant Health (Edmonton, AB)
Creative Options Regina (Regina, SK)
Egg Farmers of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
MedicAlert Foundation Canada (Toronto, ON)
NorQuest College (Edmonton, AB)
Ottawa Community Housing (Ottawa, ON)
Standards Council of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
The Ottawa Hospital (Ottawa, ON)
Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care (Scarborough, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Emerging
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Growth
Burns & Wilcox Canada (Toronto, ON)
Centra Windows (Langley, BC)
Det’on Cho Management LP (Yellowknife, NWT)
Digital Extremes (London, ON)
East Side Games (Vancouver, BC)
Flipp (Etobicoke, ON)
INVIVO Communications Inc. (Toronto, ON)
Jobber (Edmonton, AB)
MyHealth Centre (Toronto, ON)
Xperigo (Markham, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Mid-Market
BentallGreenOak (Toronto, ON)
CARFAX (London, ON)
Coast Capital Savings (Surrey, BC)
D2L Corporation (Kitchener, ON)
Geotab (Oakville, ON)
Killam Apartment REIT (Halifax, NS)
Odlum Brown Limited (Vancouver, BC)
PointClickCare (Mississauga, ON)
QSL (Quebec City, QC)
RSM Canada (Toronto, ON)
Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures of 2020 – Enterprise
AstraZeneca Canada Inc. (Mississauga, ON)
BMO Financial Group (Toronto, ON)
Bruce Power (Tiverton, ON)
CWB Financial Group (Edmonton, AB)
Loblaw Companies Limited (Brampton, ON)
Royal Bank of Canada (Toronto, ON)
SAP Canada (Vancouver, BC)
Schneider Electric (Mississauga, ON)
Scotiabank (Toronto, ON)
Sobeys Inc. (Stellarton, NS)
The Canada’s Most Admired™ Corporate Cultures and Canada’s Most Admired™ CEO awards will be presented at an awards gala on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The day also includes a Corporate Culture Summit – a learning event focused on corporate culture that features speakers and breakout sessions with past award winners – and a CEO-only Summit, which brings together some of the most senior executives from across Canada to network and share best practices around how to leverage corporate culture as a competitive advantage.
Gartner shares, “Our research has shown that the typical legal department causes an additional three days in turnaround time for each contract.” The report also provides guidance for legal teams and application leaders, including the following:
“Over 90% of legal departments report that ROI from automation either met or exceeded their expectations, with 43% saying their ROI had exceeded their expectations.”2
“However, many of the solutions available on the market take months to get up and running, and require extensive configuration and cost. The solutions highlighted in this research have bucked that trend, providing faster, more nimble options that can help companies address these challenges at a much lower price point and complexity level.”
Beau Sylvester, LinkSquares customer and head of Ubreakifix Strategic Initiatives for Asurion, said, “Two years ago, Asurion struggled with document management utilizing more than 25 different locations to store legal documents. After looking at numerous options, we landed on LinkSquares as the best platform for our document management solution. The partnership with LinkSquares has resulted in lowered risk for lost and breached documents, and better efficiency from our staff on search and retrieval of documents using cutting edge technology empowered through LinkSquares. My favorite characteristic of LinkSquares is how intuitive it is for the end user.”
Hundreds of customers trust LinkSquares to provide insights for millions of executed contracts. DraftKings, Fitbit, Asurion and other high-growth customers rely on LinkSquares to not only automate manual contract processes and provide data analytics, but also to help reposition legal teams and departments away from being a time- and resource-intensive cost center. With the AI-powered insights into existing contracts, customers can rely on outside counsel less, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. LinkSquares also eliminates the extra cycles involved in the manual teaching, data entry, upkeep and lengthy onboarding that other contract management solutions require.
“The pressures that legal teams face to quickly determine and mitigate business risks were amplified during the pandemic,” said Vishal Sunak, CEO and co-founder of LinkSquares. “Now, legal teams, sales, procurement and other strategic arms of the organization are involved in contract lifecycle management in a big way, which means they need a central source of truth to communicate and guide future decisions. To us, being a Gartner Cool Vendor validates our commitment to empower business leaders to streamline a labor-intensive process and easily use artificial intelligence to stay agile.”
Details from the report can be found here. For more information about LinkSquares’ AI-powered contract lifecycle management platform, contact email@example.com.
Supply chain data management firm Assent Compliance first to complete successful automated data submission to the European Union SCIP database.
OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 26, 2020 – Assent Compliance is the first supply chain data management firm to successfully complete an automated data submission to the European Union (EU)’s new SCIP database on behalf of a customer.
The EU’s Waste Framework Directive, along with its new SCIP database reporting requirement, is part of Europe’s ongoing prioritization of environmental and economic sustainability.
“We at Assent are pleased to facilitate the transition to a more sustainable economy and help ensure waste is valued as a resource,” said Assent CEO Andrew Waitman. “Enabling our large customer base to meet the SCIP database’s requirements for a circular economy demonstrates that we are on the same journey as Europe’s sustainable future.”
However, making the transition to a sustainable economy comes at an immediate cost to industry. Companies across Europe, and globally, are wrestling with the financial, logistical, and enforcement implications imposed by the EU Waste Framework Directive’s SCIP database. Estimates suggest that companies in Europe could spend over €67 billion per year to meet these new reporting requirements, starting in January 2021.
The Assent Compliance Platform — Assent’s software — organizes, simplifies, and automates the highly complex SCIP process via a system-to-system connection. Without this solution, companies must manually input submissions one by one through the database’s interface.
Raj Takhar, Assent’s Senior Subject Matter Expert, Materials Compliance and Chemical Reporting (Europe), is part of an industry working group advising the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on the database.
“A manual approach to data submission is simply not feasible for most companies,” said Takhar. “Each part could require hundreds, if not thousands, of database submissions, and some products have thousands of parts. This is important information to share, but the scale of this can be overwhelming to manage without help.”
Assent’s automated solution will save companies thousands or millions of dollars and countless hours in manual data management, and reduce overall supply chain, operational, and financial risks.
“This is the most broad and detailed centralized database in the world for contributing to the European Union’s sustainability goals toward a toxic-free environment,” said Takhar. “It will enable stronger enforcement from regulatory agencies, while providing investors and non-governmental organizations with a direct lens to scrutinize corporate commitments to the elimination of hazardous substances from their products.”
Critically, Assent’s solution combines expertise and technology to provide a holistic approach to the SCIP database requirement, empowering companies to take meaningful action toward improving their environmental and economic sustainability without compromising their business.
TORONTO, ON – October 8th, 2020 — ThinkData Works, Inc. (ThinkData), the Toronto tech company behind the end-to-end data management platform Namara, has brokered a partnership agreement with the Legal Innovation Data Institute (LIDI) that aims to make the administration of justice more transparent.
LIDI takes inspiration from the global free access to law community as well as many other public interest legal technology innovators and university research labs. LIDI lowers the barriers and expands the circle of innovation in Canadian legal data beyond the small and closed group of legal publishers that currently possess extensive primary law collections.
The LIDI was founded in September of 2020 through the initiative and support of the following founding members, initial collaborators and advisors:
• Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute xAI Lab • Legal Technology Lab | uOttawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society • The Conflicts Analytics Lab at Queen’s University • ThinkData Works • Private AI • CiteRight
• Dr. Randy Goebel • Meredith Brown • Noel Corriveau • Sarah Glassmeyer • Cory Janssen
“ThinkData had the perfect platform for helping us meet our objective with LIDI,” says the Founder and Executive Director, Colin Lachance. “Building a data trust is complex. We needed a partner who was leading the space and could support our growth in datasets and collaborators. Partnering with ThinkData is very exciting.”
Bryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of ThinkData, says, “At first glance, it seems like offering more data to more people is incompatible with maintaining privacy and security; but transparency in how data is collected, maintained, and shared is key to realizing the value of data. LIDI is moving the chains in a big way, and hopefully setting a precedent not just for the legal world, but for any entity looking to provide fair and transparent access to data.”
LIDI lowers legal data access barriers in Canada and facilitates innovation on an unprecedented scale. Through collaboration, we aim to make the administration of justice and technology more transparent and less costly.
About LIDI Legal Innovation Data Institute (LIDI) in an Ottawa-based and federally incorporated not-for-profit founded in 2020 to overcome the challenge of open courts and closed data. Through the LIDI Data Trust, LIDI operates as a steward of sensitive court and tribunal rulings and other legal data. LIDI Data Trust content is cleaned, normalized and enriched by LIDI and its supporters to accelerate the research, development and innovation efforts of members and collaborators in a manner that places a premium on privacy considerations and advances access to justice in Canada.
MONTREAL, October 7, 2020 – Canadian virtual care leader Dialogue announced the acquisition of renowned Canadian workplace health and wellness service provider Optima Global Health. The transaction is part of Dialogue’s accelerated growth strategy, building on its proprietary healthcare technology to address increasing demands for health and wellness services for employers and their teams across the country.
Founded in 1993, Optima Global Health is a leading Canadian provider of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), vocational rehabilitation and disability management services, with a network of more than 3,000 multi-disciplinary practitioners across the country and more than two million members. The combination of Dialogue’s innovative EAP offering combined with Optima’s 27 years of experience in the field makes it the perfect combination for Canadians to receive the quality experience they deserve.
This year has seen exponential growth in the telemedicine industry, representing an estimated $2 billion market in Canada. The Optima Global Health acquisition represents another step in expanding Dialogue’s market leadership and establishes its virtual care platform as a fully-integrated health and wellness platform for Canadian organizations.
“Tapping into Optima’s established expertise and leadership is critical to the success of our expansion into Canada’s promising EAP market,” said Cherif Habib, Co-Founder and CEO, Dialogue. “This acquisition places Dialogue among the top EAP providers in the country and puts us in a position to introduce our innovative technology to millions of new users.”
EAPs are funded by employers and provide workers with free and confidential short-term support services, including assessments and counselling to help manage both personal and work-related challenges. With more Canadians feeling the physical and mental impacts of the global pandemic, Dialogue recently announced its intention to transform the EAP experience, with a focus on providing quicker access to virtual multidisciplinary teams of professionals and full continuity of service.
“Optima has always been at the forefront of integrated health and wellness services, and we believe this acquisition is the ultimate way for us to elevate our innovation while continuing to offer the best service to our members,” said François Laflamme, President, Optima Global Health. “We’re excited about Dialogue’s commitment to modernizing EAPs and the opportunity to continue our mission to provide a more streamlined physical and psychological wellness experience for more Canadians.”
In early 2020, Dialogue closed on the acquisition of German Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) services company ARGUMED Consulting Group GmbH, laying the foundation for expansion in European markets. Since its inception, Dialogue has achieved significant operational and technical milestones while securing financial backing from top tier investors. In 2020, Dialogue added hundreds of new employees in 100 days to meet increasing demands for virtual care services in the wake of the global pandemic.
About Dialogue Technologies Inc.
Dialogue is the leading Canadian virtual care provider pioneering online healthcare services dedicated exclusively to organizations who wish to improve the health and well-being of their members and families. Dialogue’s innovative and convenient health and wellness platform provides access to a variety of quality services including primary care, mental health and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources to millions of Canadians, offering a multidisciplinary approach and continuity of care.
About Optima Global Health
Founded in 1993, Optima Global Health is known for its flagship integrated workplace health and wellness approach. Optima’s innovative programs and services help companies reduce their absenteeism-related costs and improve the health of their employees and their organization.
Through their specialization in prevention, intervention and postvention, Optima helps workers in all fields maintain or recover their health, both physical and psychological.
Optima’s integrated expertise helps them act efficiently at all levels: awareness and training, employee assistance program (EAP), manager support, disability management, disability support, early intervention, rehabilitation, healthy lifestyle habit integration, etc.
TORONTO– September 24th 2020 –Sensibill, the leading provider of SKU-level data and financial tools like digital receipt management that help institutions better know and serve their customers, today announced the launch of its newest product: Receipt Extraction API. The machine learning-based solution rapidly automates and streamlines the transcription of receipts, allowing businesses to deepen customer engagement and loyalty at scale.
Sensibill’s Receipt Extraction API solution will benefit a wide range of businesses that need to quickly and accurately extract receipt data at scale. For example, enterprise accounting firms can use the service to reduce costs and maintain profitability, despite economic pressures. Financial services companies like accounting software and PFM providers can gain access to SKU-level data to drive personalization, using the technology to create an innovative edge and differentiate themselves from the competition. And, loyalty and reward companies that need near-perfect extraction capabilities can leverage Receipt Extraction API to help deliver rewards and value back to users more quickly, increasing efficiencies and improving product quality and accuracy.
“There is a new urgency around cost savings, efficiencies, digital engagement and innovation in otherwise mature markets,” explained Corey Gross, CEO of Sensibill. “Our Receipt Extraction API offering uses smart technology to extract receipts in bulk with speed and precision. At Sensibill, we are proven experts in SKU-level data; it’s what we’ve focused on for the past seven years and why leading institutions and digital banking and core providers across the globe have partnered with us. We are excited to help a broader range of organizations as they work to quickly and efficiently unlock the power of SKU-level data to drive deeper digital engagement and loyalty with their customers.”
Sensibill’s combination of deep SKU-level data expertise and leading AI and machine learning technology makes it uniquely positioned to deliver this solution to the market. Receipt Extraction API is powered by multi-brain processing, leveraging multiple OCR engines and machine learning models to maximize accuracy. And, the solution is intuitive and easily deployable, allowing business to quickly and nimbly test and implement. To best position businesses for success, Sensibill offers customers strategic account management support and white glove service for extraction capabilities as needed.
This article original appeared on the Forbes website.
There have been a number of pain points uncovered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Across all sectors, businesses, researchers, governments, and citizens have come face-to-face with a hard reality that when push came to shove the information and resources, they needed in order to function properly weren’t guaranteed.
Data in particular has been a glaring problem. While there was no shortage of data producers who were eager to provide relevant Covid-19 related information to the public (WHO, Johns Hopkins, CDC), the suddenness and rapid evolution of the crisis meant that these data sources were changing daily, sometimes hourly. The WHO, ostensibly the primary source of truth for infection rates, released their information in daily situation reports. These PDFs were critical data points to understand how the pandemic was changing over time, but were released in a way that made it effectively impossible to use – it’s nice to see the information, but you can’t model, spot trends, and predict outcomes with PDFs.
Faced with this problem (lots of data available, very little of it accessible) organizations are making do with what they have, tying into data sources when possible, piecing together spreadsheets when not.
In the first four months of the pandemic, these primary sources of data were important in order to understand where Covid-19 was and where it was going. Now, as organizations look towards returning to “business-as-usual,” many people are considering how they can use external data more generally to help them navigate the uncertain economy. I recently connected with Bryan Smith, CEO of ThinkData Works, about how businesses can streamline their data infrastructure without creating a lot of additional overhead.
Gary Drenik: As we head into the sixth month of working from home, what do you think is the primary business objective for organizations that are trying to get back on track?
Bryan Smith: I think we’re going to see a dramatic shift in business priorities from innovation to optimization. Data science divisions have been overburdened for years and that needs to change, fast. The janitorial work of connecting to external data is a huge problem, and it’s burning 80% of a data scientist’s time. Optimizing this process should be priority one for any business that wants to become “data first.”
Drenik: There’s a lot of data out there. How do you define “external” data?
Smith: It’s a good question. Our company started out in the open data space, and over the years we’ve watched the conversation shift a lot. To us, external data is anything you didn’t create, whether it’s coming from government sources, other businesses, or Joan in accounting. If you didn’t make the data, it’s external, and you’re probably working harder than you should to get it. There’s an assumption that the enterprise has this figured out, but if you scratch the surface of most data pipelines, there’s a lot of painstaking and manual work being done to use even just a fraction of what’s available. That’s why we have teamed up with Prosper to bring a fresh perspective on high quality external data that goes beyond stats of past behaviors and provides factual insights and data about how consumers are feeling, what they are doing , why they are doing it and what they plan on doing in the future. This is especially timely for today’s world where disruption seems to be the norm and left many wondering about what the future now being shaped by new consumer behaviors will look like.
Drenik: What role do you think external data plays for businesses that are trying to map out their game plan for next year?
Smith: Traditional models are going to have to be enhanced with new information. For many companies, finding these sources of data is still a big headache. For us, partnering with organizations like Prosper gives us and our network the ability to find new sources of data from a central clearinghouse, which lets them plug into analysis-ready consumer data for economic forecasting and predictive intelligence. We used to assume that most organizations had figured out a way to pull in data from statistical agencies like the Census Bureau and Statistics Canada, but what we’re hearing these days is that there’s a lot more manual work being done to gather this data than we previously thought. If you’re down in the mines trying to get basic demographic indicators from government sources, you probably don’t have the bandwidth to pull in signal-rich data from third-party data providers. The problem is that these days you really need both. Figuring out a scalable way to automate the flow of public data and connect to new sources of data should be top of mind for anyone who’s trying to get predictive.
Drenik: What do you say to a company that’s invested in data management solutions but isn’t seeing a big lift in overall analysis and insight?
Smith: You’ve solved one piece of the puzzle. Figuring out a way to get data into your environment is a big hurdle. A good ETL gives you a pipeline of raw information, but at the end of the day your data scientists are still managing a raw resource, and it’s a misuse of their time. Refining this data into decision-grade products lets them perform actual data science.
Drenik: What do you think is the biggest blind spot facing businesses that use external data? How should they overcome it?
Smith: I think there’s a big disconnect between business priorities and data science realities. At the end of the day organizations need to stream more data, reduce overhead, and add confidence to the entire process. To do this, the first step is to understand where you’re at. Now is the right time to perform a data audit across all divisions to see what data you’re pulling in from where and eliminate as much overhead as possible. A lot of data providers have made a lot of money selling the same product to different divisions within the same company. As businesses tighten their budgets the best way to free up some spend on new data is to eliminate the redundancies that have cropped up over time.
Drenik: How should businesses change their economic models to manage the fluctuations we’re seeing in the market?
Smith: It’s not about starting from square one but adding to what you already have. Obviously, data from the OECD and World Bank is still going to be useful, but what a lot of people are struggling with right now is the latency of these traditional sources. Getting GDP stats from July in September is fine as a baseline, but you need to also grab data that’s up to date. This is where getting data from third-party providers can give you a better overall picture of the economy. Products like the ones you’ve designed at Prosper – which help you understand behavioral trends, consumer sentiment, impulsivity – aren’t necessarily traditional signals, but they’re increasingly important right now.
Drenik: Between CCPA and GDPR there’s a lot of new regulations around data use. How can businesses ensure they’re being compliant when the landscape is changing?
Smith: Flexibility is important. Companies need to develop a strategy to manage and audit the flow of data through their environment, and this strategy needs to accommodate new regulations as they’re passed down. It’s not enough to have a good policy framework, you also need to back that up with infrastructure that supports the rules you’ve set up. Having mechanisms in place that monitor who’s accessing data, how it’s changing over time, and how it’s shared are all technical requirements wrapped in policy questions.
Drenik: What’s the future of data in the enterprise?
Smith: Every company needs to become data first in order to survive. If you look at Amazon and Apple, who have always focused on data as a core feature of how they do business, it’s clear that the market will be defined by the organizations that figure out how to streamline the flow of data into their everyday processes. Optimizing external data use doesn’t sound as sexy as innovation, but it’s the prerequisite for unlocking the value of data for your business.
Drenik: Thanks Bryan for your astute insights on the value of quality external data in today’s data centric world and the need for businesses to sync data science with business priorities in order to achieve organizational data success.
Leveraging AI digital tools, and more to fight COVID19
If there has been one main learning for Roche during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been that collaboration is key to creating meaningful change. COVID-19 created a common enemy and an effective response requires community mobilization and the collection of actionable data and insights to support patients, frontline healthcare providers, health institutions, supply chains and governments. Collaboration among sectors and industries is essential to develop and implement the rapid innovation needed to make change.
This is why Roche Canada assembled the Roche Data Science Coalition (RDSC) – a group of like-minded academic and private organizations committed to working with the global research community to collect and share knowledge and healthcare data.
In its first eight weeks, the coalition developed over 100 digital solutions including artificial intelligence models, virtual dashboards, market reports and deepened relationships with Canadian and international stakeholders.
Together, the RDSC created a centralized repository, housed by ThinkData Works’ Namara platform, which offers over 200 publicly available population datasets gathered from resources around the globe. This data provides the scientific and research community with a robust foundation for current and future COVID-19 research. The data insights are used by coalition collaborators alongside patients, clinicians, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists and data scientists in order to accelerate research efforts, evaluate solutions and ensure knowledge is mobilized globally.
Additionally, the coalition has made digital self-assessment tools available that can be used by anyone suspected to have or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. With the support of Self Care Catalysts and their free app, Health Storylines, individuals are empowered by the tools to self-report data through mobile applications. Anonymized datasets from this app are transparently shared with the RDSC centralized repository where they are freely available to researchers and healthcare professionals around the world.
The Coalition also launched a challenge administered by Kaggle, an online community of data scientists and machine learners, asking their community of 4.3 million people to answer questions that focus on capacity management challenges identified at the frontlines as well as research studies for COVID-19. As a result, many across the globe have convened on the platform to collaborate and exchange domain knowledge expertise, data set contribution, creative solutions and more.
To help Canadians understand the impact of the measures that have been taken and how we are doing on a global level, the coalition released the Roche Canada: COVID-19 Global Access Report and Dashboard, providing context-specific information to inform decisions regarding the use of COVID-19 testing strategies, social distancing policies and the current state of incidence both via standard reporting and prediction models.
“Our biggest win is that the coalition creates a prospect of what rapid innovation can look like, and what’s possible,” said Fanny Sie, Strategic Healthcare Partner, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health, at Roche Canada. “The outcome of the RDSC comes down to how people connect, and we saw through this collaboration that the RDSC is building a framework for the future, not just for COVID-19 but to tackle many potential challenges that may arise.”
The RDSC showed that when you can reach a team outside of your practice and learn what drives their organizational passion, you can work together to create a powerful outcome for everyone.
Even as we shift into recovery and reopening, we know COVID-19 is still a global concern. There are opportunities for accelerated innovation and the Roche Data Science Coalition is dedicated to mobilizing diverse groups of stakeholders to benefit all Canadians.
TORONTO, July 29, 2020 /CNW/ – Virtual care is revolutionizing Canadian health care. Canadians are turning to their phones and tablets to connect virtually with a medical professional for physical and mental health concerns or even to fill a prescription. Today Sun Life announced a strategic commercial partnership and $32.7 million equity investment in Dialogue, Canada’s leading telemedicine provider. Sun Life will hold a minority ownership in Dialogue with customary rights to acquire additional equity.
This round of financing also includes follow-on investments by existing backers Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Portag3 Ventures, White Star Capital, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, First Ascent Ventures and Walter Ventures. National Bank Financial Inc. acted as financial advisor to Dialogue in this financing.
“The need for Canadians to have alternative ways to access health care continues to grow,” said Dave Jones, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits, Sun Life Canada. “Virtual care is an important part of the future of Canadian health care. The combination of innovative technology and the necessity of social distancing during the pandemic has rapidly changed the virtual health care landscape. Our investment in Dialogue represents Sun Life’s commitment to helping Canadians live healthier lives through access to health care, whenever and wherever they need it. This investment is our next step, as we continue to innovate for our Clients and empower them to manage their health and well-being.”
“Virtual care will remain an essential resource now and in the future,” said Cherif Habib, CEO of Dialogue. “While we navigate the changing health care landscape, Dialogue is proud to provide a virtual health care service that is easy, convenient and helps keep Canadians safe at home. Having strong support from partners such as Sun Life allows us to remain focused on providing quality care and expanding our services to help millions of Canadians stay healthy.”
At Sun Life, helping people live healthier lives is an important part of our business and key focus area of the company’s sustainability plan. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of expanding the traditional health care model. Virtual care, which provides access to medical practitioners in the comfort of home, helps people continue to physically distance and alleviate pressure on the Canadian health care system. Since the pandemic started, Dialogue has seen a sharp increase in usage of the virtual care service. The collaboration between Sun Life and Dialogue gives Canadians virtual access to medical care and connects them directly with a health care professional from anywhere in the country, at any time. The investment follows Sun Life’s roll out of Lumino Health Virtual Care, powered by Dialogue in March 2020.
Lumino Health Virtual Care Lumino Health Virtual Care is offered to Sun Life Group Benefits Clients with an Extended Health Care (EHC) benefit. The virtual care service is powered by Dialogue and connects Canadians with local health care providers.
Clients can easily connect to the Lumino Health Virtual Care service through a mobile app or online. Once connected, the service will triage a Client before providing direct access to a nurse or physician. The service provides Clients with acute physical and mental health care, similar to medical services provided at a primary care clinic. A multi-disciplinary team will review symptoms, provide an assessment, create a personalized care plan, write prescriptions, and make referrals to specialists or in-person care if necessary.
About Sun Life Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of March 31, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,023 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.
Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.
TORONTO, ON – June 25, 2020 – ThinkData Works, Inc. (@thinkdataworks) announced today that it has raised $8 million (CAD) in Series A financing led by BDC Capital Inc (BDC ICE Fund) and Yaletown Capital Partners with participation by existing investors, First Ascent Ventures and Extreme Venture Partners.
ThinkData’s end-to-end data management platform, Namara, streams data from any source in the world – public or private – in any format and structure to allow organizations to use endless amounts of data to layer upon existing practices and fuel new business intelligence solutions.
“The ability to layer multiple data sources, both proprietary and public in a standardized structure allows rapid insights that impact the bottom line for all of our customers,” said Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData. “As we continue to simplify the process to access product ready data for the enterprise, we have seen management realize the high cost and inefficiencies of the problems associated with data variety.”
ThinkData’s customer roster includes Royal Bank of Canada, the Government of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, TD Bank, and Roche Pharmaceuticals.
“For ThinkData to have won customers of such a high caliber and sophistication speaks to the quality of the platform and technology,” said Sean Brownlee, General Partner at BDC ICE Fund. “The fact that demand for their solution has only increased despite the concerns around the current economic uncertainty demonstrates the value the company can unlock for customers.”
First Ascent Ventures were an early investor in ThinkData. “We were very impressed with the founding team of Bryan Smith (CEO) and Brendan Stennett (CTO) and they have continued to innovate and deliver extraordinary value to customers with a high level of capital efficiency,” said Tony van Marken, Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures.
ThinkData will use the latest funding to add new talent across Engineering, Sales and Marketing and expand globally. “Having supportive investors is paramount as an entrepreneur and First Ascent Ventures has been a valuable partner and mentor to the management team. We look forward to working with BDC and Yaletown, our new investors, as we scale the company and build a world class organization,” said Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData.
About ThinkData Works ThinkData Works, Inc. is a Toronto-based data technology company founded in 2014 that makes data access easy. ThinkData’s end-to-end data management platform, Namara, supplies data professionals with efficient tooling for every stage of the data lifecycle. We provide large enterprises access to more data, with less overhead and more confidence to fuel their products, models, and solutions.
BDC ICE BDC Capital’s Industrial, Clean and Energy (ICE) Technology Venture Fund tailors its investments towards capital-efficient and scalable businesses enhancing resource productivity with the potential to operate across a global market. We invest in early and development stage Canadian companies, and use our experience in materials, electronics and ICT to build commercially successful global companies.
Yaletown Partners Yaletown Partners is dedicated to closing the emerging-growth stage investment gap faced by technology companies in Canada, and invests in technology companies that enhance industry and enterprise productivity and sustainability, to help accelerate their growth, shorten exit timeframes and achieve strong exit premiums. The fund has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal, and a growing presence in Toronto,