Category: Uncategorized

18
Mar

Venture capital funding flat in 2018, but industry players say investment ecosystem is strong

A total of $3.7 billion in venture capital was dispersed to Canadian companies in 2018, according to a report by the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

While the number marked a two per cent decline from 2017, Kim Furlong, CEO of the CVCA was still calling it a win.

2017 was just like a home run, so 2018 is a continuation of that growth trajectory

Kim Furlong, CEO of the CVCA

“This report signals that there’s maturity in the system. We saw an amazing year in 2017 — the best year we’d had to date in growth, in seven consecutive years,” she said. “2017 was just like a home run, so 2018 is a continuation of that growth trajectory.”

The numbers in the CVCA report offer a glimpse into the shape of startup funding across Canada, especially in the information and communication technology sector which accounted for more than two thirds of VC dollars and deals.

Toronto tops deals, followed by Montreal and Vancouver

Toronto is far and away the centre of gravity, with 197 venture capital deals happening in the city, and more than $1.5 billion invested in 2018. Montreal was the second busiest spot in Canada for startup investment, with 119 deals totalling $901 million, and Vancouver was third, with 71 deals totalling $400 million.

Governments are a big part of venture capital funding in Canada

The CVCA report also makes it clear that governments are a big part of venture capital funding in Canada. Scanning down the list of the top 10 most active venture capital firms, the federal Business Development Corporation appears twice on the list — both as an overall funder, and separately as an investor through several sector-specific funds — and government entities like the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and the MaRS Innovation Accelerator Fund appear on the list.

The venture capital sector has also received help from government through programs like the federal Venture Capital Action Plan and the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative — each worth $400 million.

Rick Nathan, who leads the venture capital program at Kensington Capital Partners — one of the recipients of VCCI investment — said the government money has leveraged a lot more private capital.

“They’re important from a stimulative impact on the market as a whole,” he said.

“Every government in the world where there is a technology industry has a very active role — including the United States which has more government support for its venture capital industry than any other country in the world. But if you look at Israel, if you look at Europe, if you look across Asia, it is an important feature of any market where there is a budding tech sector.”

70% of venture capital deals in 2018 were valued at less than $5 million

The biggest publicly disclosed venture capital deal of the year was $161 million in late-stage funding which went to Assent Compliance Inc, a supply chain data management company based in Ottawa.

Quebec-based Hopper Inc. and Milestone Pharmaceuticals Inc. also scored late-stage investment rounds valued at more than $100 million.

But according to the CVCA data, 70 per cent of venture capital deals in 2018 were much smaller, valued at less than $5 million.

In aggregate, Nathan said the numbers reflect investor confidence in Canada’s startup sector. He pointed to the initial public offering by Montreal-based Lightspeed POS as the latest example of a successful startup exit.

“We had the Lightspeed IPO a week ago, which is a great story. It’s a fabulous company. But it’s just kind of the next one on the list,” Nathan said.

“We probably have about 20 companies across the country that are in the half a billion to one billion valuation range.”

The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association Names New Chief Executive Officer

Canadian tech venture capital funding hits eight-quarter high thanks to AI

21
Feb

Q4 announces new IR Success Platform

darrel

New York and Toronto – February 21, 2019 – Q4 Inc., a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations solutions, announced today the launch of its “IR Success Platform.” The platform combines Q4’s market-leading IR product suite, with a new white-glove customer experience model that partners with IROs to help them achieve both their tactical and strategic objectives, from daily tasks to annual program goals.

“The rise of new technologies, along with a constantly changing regulatory landscape are disrupting today’s capital markets. But while the scope of the IR role has expanded, in most cases, resources and budgets haven’t increased. You’re being asked to do more with less.” said Darrell Heaps, Q4’s CEO. “We believe that by working with the right partner and arming yourself with the right technology, you can overcome these challenges, to drive strategic value and ‘take a seat at the boardroom table.’ Our new IR Success Platform is designed to help IR teams, of all sizes and shapes, optimize processes and run impactful programs.”

Leveraging the latest in IR technology and tools, combined with dedicated IR professionals, Q4 is committed to delivering best-in-class customer experience. The IR Success Platform provides IROs with a truly dedicated “partner” committed to helping them drive strategic IR value, and is the first of its kind in the market. The IR Success Platform is designed to:

  • Reduce IR workload and streamlining processes;
  • Build a robust ownership base and target the right investors;
  • Improve IRO visibility and engagement with management and the Board; and
  • Drive stronger valuation relative to market peers.

“We recognize that no two IR teams are the same, and therefore, your needs also differ. With our IR Success Platform, we match you with the right technology and dedicated service team, based on your own unique objectives and challenges. We have you covered, from website and webcasting, to CRM, market intelligence and surveillance, and everything in between, ” said Matt Tractenberg, IR Partner at Q4. “The incredible benefit to our clients and their limited resources is that this is all being provided as a value add, at no additional expense to our clients.”

The IR Success Platform includes three customer experience offerings:

“Communicate” includes web design and webcasting, supported by an IR lead and 24/7 customer service for daily IR tasks.

“Engage” includes Q4’s CRM, web and webcasting, supported by a dedicated IR manager who is focused on executing tactical support across all IR functions.

“Elevate” includes web design, webcasting, CRM and Intelligence products and offers the highest level of strategic experience. It’s supported by a dedicated IR Partner, an ex-IRO with the core mandate to align with client strategies and partner on helping reach their objectives, whatever they may be.

The IR Success Platform is a value add service offered to all Q4 clients, with product configuration being rolled-out over the coming days. For more information please see www.q4inc.com or contact sales@q4inc.com .

For more details visit: https://www.q4inc.com/success-platform/default.aspx

23
Jan

ThinkData Works selected as an approved vendor for the Canadian Government AI standing order

Toronto – January 23rd, 2019 – ThinkData Works Inc. (ThinkData) has been pre-qualified by the Government of Canada to deliver contracts worth up to $9M related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) services, solutions, and products. The list of qualified providers was announced on January 15, 2019, and was the result of an Invitation to Qualify published through Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Through the Invitation to Qualify, the Government of Canada has pre-approved a list of suppliers who meet all of the mandatory criteria to provide Canada with responsible and effective AI services, solutions, and products. Subsequently, all solicitation opportunities related to Federal Government AI projects will be exclusively distributed to this pre-qualified list of suppliers (the Source List).

“We are very pleased to have been selected to deliver on the largest AI-related projects within the Government of Canada,” says Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData. “We placed a large emphasis on the need for clean data in order to get AI right and we’re happy to hear that the Government agrees. We will be able to deploy our platform, Namara, on nearly every project related to this procurement vehicle and serve up clean, unbiased data as fuel to power all AI solutions.”

ThinkData has also created a vendor ecosystem graphic to better visualize and categorize the Source List:

 

Company logos plotted in a graphic divided by work sector

After research and consultation with industry, academia, and civil society, the Federal Government structured the solicitation around three categories that represent the business needs of the Government of Canada:

Insights and Predictive Modelling: The Government is looking to maximize the value of the data and information it has, and will begin to use AI to analyze and predict outcomes and effectiveness.

Machine Interactions: Canada is increasingly seeking to implement digital channels to facilitate interactions between citizens and government, looking towards chatbots, virtual agents, smart routing, and targeted content distribution to increase service delivery.

Cognitive Automation: The Government intends to introduce automated decision systems in order to further automate repetitive tasks and information-intensive processes.

Vendors on the Source List have been pre-qualified based on their prior experience delivering responsible and effective AI services, solutions, and products. Pre-qualified suppliers will receive notifications of opportunity (“Solicitation”) which will be posted on Buy and Sell. Solicitations will stipulate the maximum amount to be awarded and will be categorized based on the following grades, or “bands”:

  1. Band 1: up to $500K
  2. Band 2: up to $4M
  3. Band 3: up to $9M

To qualify for Solicitation under bands 1, 2, and 3, vendors were required to demonstrate that they had successfully delivered one, three, or five AI project(s), respectively. This process ensures that both emerging companies and global organizations are present on the Source List.

“The different bands made the ITQ accessible to smaller companies and startups who historically get left off of these standing offers due to requirements tailored to large, public companies,” says Smith. “I think the Government did a phenomenal job ensuring home-grown Canadian AI talent could compete for any future government contract. It’s so important that these companies get the opportunity to build solutions for Canada.”

23
Oct

Assent Compliance Receives Over $100 Million (CAD$130 Million) Growth Equity Investment from Warburg Pincus

OTTAWA – October 23, 2018 – Assent Compliance (“Assent” or “the company”), the Ottawa-based leader in supply chain data management software, today announced the receipt of an over $100 million (CAD$130 million) investment from Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The investment will enable Assent to enhance its proprietary software and supply chain data management platform, while expanding its product compliance, vendor management and corporate social responsibility solutions. Justin Sadrian and Sam Lipsick from Warburg Pincus will join Assent’s Board of Directors.

This investment is Assent’s third funding round in three years and highlights it as one of Canada’s most successful SaaS companies. Assent raised CAD$20 million in a Series A round in 2016 and CAD$40 million in a Series B round in 2017, which have fuelled its rapid growth to more than 400 employees across three continents.

Assent provides cloud-based enterprise supply chain data management software and solutions – available through the Assent Compliance Platform – to help companies manage and reduce global third-party market access, reputational, financial and operational risks. Serving hundreds of corporate customers and hundreds of thousands of suppliers around the world, Assent’s solutions automate supply chain data management to increase supply chain transparency and respond to the significant volume of data and regulatory requirements faced in today’s global marketplace. Assent’s platform is supported by a world-class team of regulatory and supplier management experts, providing exceptional supply chain data program management.

“We are thrilled to partner with Warburg Pincus – one of the leading growth equity firms in the world,” said Andrew Waitman, CEO of Assent Compliance. “Warburg’s enviable software domain experience complements our remarkable supply chain data management expertise and will help accelerate Assent’s rapid growth. Their thoughtful selection of Assent reinforces our market leadership and will enable us to continue to deliver innovative solutions that protect companies from third-party risks within their supply chains.”

“Assent’s innovative technology offerings and unmatched regulatory expertise have supported the company’s rapid growth, and cemented its leadership position in the supply chain data management sector,” said Justin Sadrian, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus. “The company has taken supply chain transparency to a new level and created a clear category-leading platform. In doing so, Assent has earned an outstanding reputation for providing world class solutions and client support – making Assent the partner of choice for enterprise and mid-market companies around the world. We look forward to working with Assent’s leadership team as the company embarks on its next chapter of growth.”

Assent Compliance has emerged as a remarkable success story in the Canadian software and technology industry,” said Richard Black, Partner, OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF). “We identified Assent three years ago as a company with great opportunity, strong leadership and a clear vision for strategic growth. Warburg Pincus’ investment is a testament to Assent’s ability to execute against that vision and achieve its place as the global leader in its space. This marks a new chapter for one of Canada’s best and most exciting companies to watch, and we look forward to continuing to be a part of it.”

BDC Capital, Greenspring Associates, OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund, and Volition Capital will all remain investors in the company, reflecting their continued confidence in Assent and its growth potential. Members of Assent’s management team will also retain an ownership stake.

About Assent Compliance
Assent Compliance is the global leader in supply chain data management. Combining leading-edge technologies with extensive supply chain expertise, Assent provides SaaS solutions that manage third-party data to protect corporate brands, increase market accessibility, and reduce operational and financial risk. For more information, please visit www.assentcompliance.com.

About Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus LLC is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $47 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 170 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector and geography. Warburg Pincus is an experienced partner to management teams seeking to build durable companies with sustainable value. The firm has been an active investor in the enterprise software sector, with current investments including Avalara, DocuTAP, Dude Solutions, Duetto, Liaison International, and NEOGOV. Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has raised 17 private equity funds, which have invested more than $70 billion in over 835 companies in more than 40 countries. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Mumbai, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai and Singapore. For more information, please visit
www.warburgpincus.com.

About OpenText
The OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF) was formed in 2015 and invests in emerging Canadian technology companies that are building disruptive, enterprise applications that leverage the power of the internet, big data, predictive analytics, machine learning and mobility. The founding partners of OTEAF have been involved with over 25 technology companies as founders, executives, advisors or investors with a track record of successful growth and premium returns.

Contacts
Assent Compliance
Matthew Desrosiers
(613) 315-0761
matthew.desrosiers@assentcompliance.com

Warburg Pincus
Pam Greene / Jenny Gore
Sard Verbinnen
(212) 687-8080 WP-SVC@sardverb.com

OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF)
Tony van Marken
(647) 271-4564
tony.vanmarken@oteaf.vc

12
Sep

Q4 Inc. Raises $38 Million in Series C Funding Round Led by Napier Park Financial Partners

Toronto and New York – September 12, 2018 – Q4 Inc., a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations and capital market solutions, announced today the closing of a USD$38 million Series C financing round.

This round was led by Napier Park Financial Partners (Napier Park) with participation from existing investors including OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF), Information Venture Partners and Espresso Capital. The new funds will be used to support the continued development of the Company’s next generation, purpose-built investor relations CRM and analytics platform, expand global sales and marketing efforts, and pursue strategic acquisitions.

“Q4’s mission is to make our clients leaders in investor relations by delivering a superior product experience, best-in-class technology and first-rate customer support,” said Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4. “We are excited to partner with the Napier Park team during this incredible period of growth for Q4. This capital will enable us to accelerate our product roadmap, pursue acquisitions, drive our global sales and marketing efforts, and continue executing on our vision of becoming a preeminent global capital markets platform.”

Since 2013, Q4 has been steadily expanding its capital markets platform and capabilities, building-out the industry’s premier IR CRM. This sophisticated analytics and workflow solution integrates quantitative and real-time shareholder analytics, AI targeting, pipeline management, and roadshow planning tools, as well as advanced website and event analytics. With the recent release of Studio, Q4’s next generation investor website platform, the Company has yet again raised-the-bar with the industry’s most capable, flexible and design-driven product.

“At Napier Park, we invest in and partner with the best and brightest in financial technology and are thrilled to be leading this round,” said Dan Kittredge, Partner at Napier Park. “We are excited to be partnering with Darrell and team — their technology-first approach to solving IR pain points, end-to-end solution set, and track record of exceptional customer service afford them a unique position to capitalize on secular, regulatory and competitive tailwinds. We are committed to supporting Q4’s growth strategy as they continue to bring innovative products to the market and execute on their long-term vision.”

Q4 is the industry’s only full-suite provider of IR solutions with a complete range of analytics, CRM, website, webcasting and professional services. With MiFID II disrupting how the sell-side provides services to corporates and the buy-side, Q4 is well positioned to provide its large and rapidly growing IR client base with the tools and advice to succeed in the post-MiFID world. With over 1,200 of the world’s top global brands leveraging Q4’s suite of IR solutions, Q4 remains the fastest growing and most exciting investor relations and capital markets provider in the industry.

“Having led Q4’s Series B round, we have witnessed the tremendous growth of the company, and the evolution of Darrell and his team in the execution of their strategy,” said Tony van Marken, General Partner at OTEAF and Chairman of Q4. “Q4 has continued to expand its customer base with some of the world’s largest public companies and now provides IR solutions to 25% of the S&P 500. With the macro trends benefiting the market and material shifts in their competitive landscape, we are excited to participate alongside Napier Park in this round and to continue to support Q4 in executing against their vision of growing into a dominant global capital markets platform.”

As part of this transaction, Dan Kittredge and Ned May from Napier Park will join the Q4 Board of Directors.

RBC Capital Markets acted as the Lead Placement Agent and Exclusive Financial Advisor to Q4 in connection with this transaction. Oslers provided legal services to Q4.

Media inquiries
Taryn Shulman, Q4 Inc.
VP, Marketing
416-540-9832
taryns@q4inc.com

About Q4 Inc.

Q4 is a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations and capital market solutions. Q4 empowers customers to be leaders in IR through innovative technology and exceptional customer service. Our comprehensive portfolio of IR solutions, including quantitative and real-time shareholder analytics, IR desktop, websites, and webcasting arm industry professionals with the tools and insights required to run award-winning IR programs, make effective business decisions, and better engage with the street. Q4 has offices in New York, Chicago, Toronto, Copenhagen, and London. To learn more, visit: www.q4inc.com.

About Napier Park Financial Partners

Napier Park Financial Partners is the private equity group of Napier Park Global Capital, an alternative asset management platform with approximately $11 billion in assets under management. Napier Park focuses on investing in innovative, high growth companies at the intersection of financial services and technology-enabled products and services. Napier Park targets investments of $5 million to $30 million, with current and prior portfolio companies spanning the following industry subsectors – Payments, Banking and Lending, Insurance and Benefits, Asset and Wealth Management, and Business Services and Outsourcing. For more information, visit www.napierparkglobal.com/private-equity .

24
Apr

ThinkData partners with the Vector Institute to provide AI research platform

TORONTO, ON – ThinkData Works, Inc. (ThinkData) has announced a partnership with the Vector Institute (Vector) that will provide Vector AI researchers and partners with a platform for fundamental and applied AI research.

“There is a lot of potential to apply AI techniques to gain insight and create new business solutions using publicly available data,” says Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData. “Researchers and developers end up spending more time searching, cleansing, and processing data than they spend building solutions and analyzing results. Through this partnership, we’re providing a platform that takes care of the not-so-fun part of working with data, enabling Vector researchers and partners to focus all of their efforts on advancing their research.”

ThinkData’s platform, Namara, hosts one of the largest repositories of publicly available open data in the world, providing standard access to hundreds of thousands of data sets released by providers ranging from governments and not-for-profits to large companies and startups. Vector’s partnership with ThinkData Works will launch this month with an initial focus on providing Vector researchers with new streams of public data.

Vector and ThinkData also plan on developing a private deployment of the Namara platform exclusively for Vector researchers and partner companies to facilitate research collaboration and joint solution development.
“Vector is one of the largest communities of researchers in the world who are at the leading edge of deep learning and machine learning research and development,” says Dr. Garth Gibson, President and CEO of the Vector Institute. “Our partnership with ThinkData Works will enable us to work with our partners to advance AI research and drive its application, adoption and commercialization across Canada.”

The platform will enhance Vector’s ability to work with partners on research and resources that could also be made available to the broader market to benefit whole industries through ThinkData’s public Namara platform.

Media Inquiries:
Lewis Wynne-Jones, ThinkData Works, Inc.
Head of Data Acquisition and Partnerships
lewis@thinkdataworks.com

About ThinkData Works
Founded in 2014, ThinkData Works focuses on the aggregation and modification of large data sets, enabling businesses to create new products and insights. The platform is designed to access high value data in standard usable formats.
For more information visit: thinkdataworks.com
Start using ThinkData’s platform for free at namara.io

About the Vector Institute
The Vector Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), excelling in machine and deep learning. Their vision is to drive excellence and leadership in Canada’s knowledge, creation, and use of artificial intelligence (AI) to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.

20
Mar

ThinkData closes investment from OTEAF to fuel global expansion

TORONTO, ON – ThinkData Works, Inc. (ThinkData) has announced an investment from the OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF). The funds will be used to support ThinkData’s global expansion. The transaction will also see Tony van Marken, General Partner at OTEAF, join ThinkData’s Board of Directors.

ThinkData’s platform allows organizations to access data from hundreds of public sources and helps enterprises transform proprietary data sets into a standardized format. Organizations can use these rich data pools to build predictive models and derive insights.

“Our investment in ThinkData reflects our belief that data is the most valuable asset for enterprise today. The ThinkData platform allows its customers to unlock the potential of their own data, and layer in new sources to generate actionable insights,” says Tony van Marken. “The company has already won Tier 1 enterprise customers, reinforcing our conviction in the value of the platform to some of the most sophisticated institutions in the world.”

ThinkData’s customers include Royal Bank of Canada, the Government of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, TD Bank, and The Altus Group among others.

“If you’re only looking at your own internal and siloed data environment to drive your business forward, you’re missing 90% of the information you need to start leveraging in order to remain competitive in tomorrow’s business landscape. This is true for every company in every sector,” says Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData.

Using ThinkData’s platform, Namara, organizations are capable of taking endless amounts of public and private data sourced from anywhere in the world and layering it upon existing practices or integrating it into new business intelligence solutions.

“We are unlocking the ability to link and layer data sets that, although related, have traditionally remained siloed,” says Mr. Smith. “By boiling down every dataset to its raw features, we can rebuild it into master data records that adhere to a common standard – and we can do so at scale. This clean data works like rocket fuel and launches our clients’ analytics capabilities to new heights.”

OTEAF joins Extreme Venture Partners (EVP) and MaRS IAF, ThinkData’s initial seed investors, who backed the company in its early stages. “In the last decade, the world’s most important companies have become experts in data – its capture, its analytics, and its use. ThinkData’s platform unlocks this capability for all the companies out there that need to play catch up,” said Ray Sharma, Managing Partner of EVP. “We bet early on ThinkData because they had a sobering idea; data needs to be as accessible as tap water. Companies need to be able to turn on the faucet and watch the data flow.”

Media Inquiries:
Lewis Wynne-Jones, ThinkData Works, Inc.
Head of Data Acquisition and Partnerships
lewis@thinkdataworks.com

About ThinkData Works
Founded in 2014, ThinkData Works focuses on the aggregation and modification of large data sets, enabling businesses to create new products and insights. The platform is designed to access high value data in standard usable formats.
For more information visit: thinkdataworks.com

About Extreme Venture Partners
EVP is an early stage investment fund, startup development lab (Extreme Innovation) and global-to-Canada accelerator (Extreme Accelerator) that invites diversity as the spark of brilliance and innovation, quietly launching some of the Canada’s most interesting startups. EVP has developed a comprehensive startup ecosystem, as well as a not-for-profit organization (Hackergals) dedicated to addressing the gender imbalance in coding. Learn more about EVP’s “firsts”.
For more information visit: evp.vc

07
Feb

Rubikloud Expands AI Presence in Toronto With 60 New Jobs

One of the biggest AI companies in Canada is expanding their reach and bringing more talent in. Rubikloud has unveiled that they will be adding 60 new jobs in Toronto following their $37 million Series B round of funding in early January.

The new roles will span several fields and industries such as data science, engineering, sales, operations, finance and marketing, and come in both junior and senior levels.

“The state of the enterprise AI market is nascent, with few companies deploying AI solutions to businesses,” said Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud. “Rubikloud’s product and platform are ahead of the market, offering tech talent practical AI careers where they can actually build AI applications. We’ve seen a recruiting upticks as analysts and shareholders actively ask companies how they are using AI / ML to improve their bottom lines. Our clients are not funding research projects. They are funding automated production systems.”

As a leading machine learning platform designed for retailers, Rubikloud uses AI to deliver customized and intelligent decision automation for multi-billion dollar businesses. The Toronto company automates and builds on mass promotional planning and loyalty-driven marketing with a built-in-house and cloud-native platform. Many studies have shown that companies will be forced to integrate some form of AI in order to stay competitive in the retail world, and Rubikloud is helping them stay on course.

“Rubikloud is one of the few AI companies building and deploying practical solutions across the Fortune 500 and moving machine learning from the predictive to prescriptive,” said Karamdeep Nijjar, partner at iNovia Capital. iNovia were investors in Rubikloud’s recent funding round. “We invested in Rubikloud because we believe they could become a publicly traded billion-dollar company in the next five years and we’re excited to see them hiring aggressively,” added Nijjar. Rubikloud currently has just over 75 employees, so these new additions will almost double the existing team. The company has earned a total of $45 million in financing so far.

Rubikloud is also nominated for Startup of the Year in the Canadian Innovation Awards. For more info on the event, head here, otherwise tune in to see if they will take home the prize on February 22 in Toronto.

22
Jan

Q4 releases iris™, a new artificial intelligence engine for investor relations

NEW YORK, NY, January 17, 2018 – Q4 Inc., a global leader in cloud based investor relations announced today the release of iris™, the company’s new AI engine designed to revolutionize the IR services space. By integrating machine learning, big data analytics and NLP to analyze and process high volumes of fragmented market data, iris is empowering public companies across the United States to drive improved investor engagement and shareholder quality, leading to lower volatility and higher multiples.

Phase one of this ground breaking technology is being applied to Q4’s stock surveillance business, where iris has been achieving accuracy levels of real-time ownership that are unheard of in the investor relations intelligence market.

“Today’s introduction of iris into the market signifies a huge milestone for Q4 and our stock surveillance program,” said Adam Frederick, SVP, Intelligence. “In the past, traditional surveillance firms have been unable to achieve high levels of accuracy in providing real-time shareholder analytics due to the depth and breadth of analysis required. iris is capable of analyzing vast amounts of data at a level impossible for any human to achieve. Backed by this powerful AI-engine, Q4 is consistently able to achieve 80 percent plus accuracy in real-time ownership predictions – a true breakthrough for the industry.”

Q4 also announced today a commitment to proactively report accuracy results to their clients, along with a money back guarantee on maintaining accuracy above 80 percent. The guarantee is structured as a service level agreement on accuracy and provides a structure for quarterly reporting and rebates on fees paid should accuracy levels drop below 80 percent.

“Seeing the results of iris and its impact on our accuracy has given us the confidence to stand behind our data with a money back guarantee, which sets a new standard in the IR market,” said Darrell Heaps, CEO, Q4. “The unmatched proficiency of iris, coupled with the top tier advice and consulting provided by Q4’s experienced analyst team, has created a far superior product to anything else available today. Our clients rely on surveillance intelligence to drive critical decision-making with their C-suite and board, which is why Q4 is holding itself accountable.”

Q4 plans to release a number of new iris analytics and workflow products over the course of 2018, each with a core purpose of enabling investor relations teams through actionable analytics and improved efficiency through automation.

iris is available today and is in operation across Q4’s US-based intelligence business.

For more information contact sales@q4inc.com.

03
Jan

Rubikloud scores $37 million investment to bring intelligence to retail industry

TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2018 — The retail industry is one that’s rife for disruption by technology. Under intense pressure from giants like Amazon and Walmart, retailers are often stuck using legacy systems and are ill-equipped to compete using the latest tools. Rubikloud announced a $37 million investment today to help retailers attack the modernization problem with cloud tools built with artificial intelligence underpinnings.

The round was led by Intel Capital with participation from new investors Inovia Capital and OTEAF along with previous investors Horizons Ventures and Access Industries. Today’s investment brings the total to $47 million, according to the company.

Intel in particular is trying to get a foothold inside of retail where they hope to promote their Internet of Things strategy. They believe that by combining their IoT knowledge with Rubikloud’s intelligent automation and data processing, it will generate a powerful partnership. For starters, they hope to attack three areas of retail with this approach including the supply chain, the corporate front office and inside stores themselves.

Rubikloud offers a series of SaaS products including a promotions tool and a customer lifecycle manager to help retailers provide more personalized promotions and track their customers through the entire retail lifecycle. They also offer a couple of more nuts and bolts tools including RubiCore, which is designed to help companies ingest and validate data from their existing systems and move their data into Rubikloud’s proprietary data model. Finally they offer RubiOne, which is a set of machine learning tools and libraries designed to help retailers build their own machine learning applications on top of the Rubikloud data set.

The idea is to use the applications the company has provided to help retailers improve promotions and better understand their customers, while giving them the ability to build their own customized applications as well.

This appears to be a solid approach, but the company is far from alone in this space as it’s competing with giants like Adobe and a host of other startups. Regardless, investors obviously liked what they saw and have pumped in a lot of money to help in that regard.

The company plans to use the money from this round for worldwide expansion with a focus on opening offices in Europe and Asia.