Category: Uncategorized

03
Feb

Sensibill welcomes Tom Shen as chair of the board

TORONTO, Feb. 03, 2020 — Sensibill announced today that digital banking veteran Tom Shen has been appointed chair of the board. Shen is joined on the board by Corey Gross, co-founder and CEO of Sensibill, David Unsworth, general partner at Information Venture Partners, and Benji Sucher, general partner at Radical Ventures.

Shen’s addition to the board is part of a series of executive appointments designed to help the company fulfill its mission of powering financial institutions with innovative solutions that drive customer value and engagement, while expanding the data streams financial institutions need to forge deeper relationships. Sensibill secured $31.5 million USD in Series B funding in 2019 to further support this initiative. The round was led by Radical Ventures, with participation from the National Bank of Canada and others. Radical Ventures is focused on applying data and AI on a global scale; their involvement adds a deeper layer of data expertise that is complemented by Shen’s digital banking experience.

Shen is a proven expert at scaling digital banking services for financial institutions. He was the founder and CEO of digital banking solutions provider Malauzai, which he sold to Finastra in 2018. Finastra attributed the company’s market leadership and open approach as part of its purchasing decision. In 2005, Shen joined the executive team at Digital Insight, an internet banking and payments provider ultimately acquired by NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR). The first company he founded was Software Dynamics, Incorporated (SDI), a provider of teller and platform automation software that grew to work with more than 1,200 financial institutions before it was sold to S1 Corporation in 2001. The business was later acquired by ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW).

“Sensibill is at the precipice of a major breakthrough,” commented Shen. “The company has joined forces with some of the world’s leading financial institutions, and they are highly proficient in a market that is ripe for change. Customers have become accustomed to personal and on-demand service from their experiences with big tech; Sensibill’s use of purchase data and AI expertise makes these user experiences readily available to financial institutions.”

Gross added, “There are only a handful of digital banking innovators of the caliber of Tom Shen. His success building and delivering game-changing digital solutions for financial institutions has been proven time and again. We’re excited to have him join Sensibill as we endeavor to make banking more personal.”

Sensibill has raised a total of $46.5 million USD and has partnered with the largest financial institutions and digital banking providers in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada.

23
Jan

Dialogue Technologies Inc. acquires German Occupational Health and Safety services company ARGUMED Consulting Group GmbH

MONTREAL and MUNICH, Jan. 22, 2020  Dialogue Technologies Inc., the leading Canadian telemedicine, health and well-being provider, announced today the acquisition of German Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) services company ARGUMED Consulting Group GmbH. The acquisition marks an evolution in Dialogue’s product offering and expansion opportunities in European markets.

Since 2016, Dialogue has been focused on making employees healthier, happier and performing at their best potential. This acquisition allows Dialogue to pursue its mission through a different lens and roll out its technology platform to help millions of European employees avoid preventable workplace issues.

ARGUMED provides the full range of workplace health and safety services to a diverse portfolio of clients and industries throughout Germany. ARGUMED’s expansion strategy is built around digitizing services offerings such as psychological and other risk assessments, instructions, training and hazardous substances management. Applying modern technologies plays a significant role in ARGUMED’s approach to reduce existing regulatory complexity by providing tailor-made solutions for employers and freeing their workplaces from preventable health and safety risks.

ARGUMED has set the bar for world-class OHS delivery and we are excited about the opportunity to continue building on that momentum together, said Cherif Habib, Dialogue CEO. This acquisition enables us to combine Dialogue’s industry-leading telemedicine technology with ARGUMED’s OHS expertise to further help employers create healthy, safe and productive workplaces for employees.

“Working with Dialogue will allow us to expand our reach and reinvent the way we deliver OHS products and solutions to our clients,” said Maike Laska, ARGUMED founder and CEO. “Dialogue’s vision is perfectly aligned with ours and we look forward to developing new and innovative approaches to support employers.”

“The health technology leadership we have established in Canada will be an asset as we continue to expand our operations throughout Europe,” said Philipp Dornbach, Dialogue General Manager, Germany. “Integrating ARGUMED’s OHS solutions increases our credibility in the market and gives us a more comprehensive service offering for new and existing clients.”

“Invest in Bavaria is very happy to welcome Dialogue with its European headquarter in Bavaria! With the acquisition of ARGUMED, Dialogue laid the foundation for growth in Europe,” said Dr. Wolfgang Hübschle, Executive Director Invest in Bavaria. “May both companies prosper from their cooperation! We look forward to more jobs being created.” 

Quick facts

Dialogue has acquired ARGUMED’s full business operations, including the organization’s Munich and Freiburg headquarters, along with its 50 partnerships with competence centres across Germany. The ARGUMED acquisition represents a new business line for Dialogue and the opportunity to meet a significant portion of the $28B EU OHS total addressable market (TAM);

As part of the transaction, ARGUMED will continue to serve existing and new clients, while Dialogue builds new technology to support and improve the delivery of OHS services digitally;

With support from Dialogue, ARGUMED will expand its operations, customer-facing, product, and technology teams in Germany and throughout the European Union;

The transaction will create dozens of highly-skilled local jobs in Canada and Germany.

21
Jan

Leading tech firm Q4 announces expansion plans into Hamilton, along with over 140 new tech jobs

Q4 Inc.’s new Hamilton Office

January 21, 2020 (HAMILTON, ON) – Adding to the momentum behind Hamilton as one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech cities, Q4 Inc. has announced it will be expanding into the up-and-coming hub this year, creating 140 new jobs in the city. Hamilton has been gaining traction as a rising tech centre and an ideal location for innovative companies to establish operations.

Attracted by Hamilton’s tech talent pool, affordability and quality of life, Q4’s new office will be located in the heart of downtown Hamilton.

“We’ve been watching Hamilton’s tech growth closely, and we believe it’s well on its way to becoming one of the largest tech hubs in Ontario. Our goal is to become the leading tech employer in this city,” says Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4. “Hamilton offers all the right elements for our employees. It’s affordable, has fantastic restaurants, vibrant nightlife, a great arts scene, and offers active green space nearby. It’s also within close proximity to our headquarters in Toronto, providing easy knowledge-sharing across both offices.”

Q4 will occupy the entire 9,500 sq. ft. second floor of a new four-storey brick-and-beam office at 59 King St. E, scheduled to open in March. By the end of 2020, Q4 plans to expand to the fourth floor of the same building, occupying an additional 7,500 sq. ft.

The new space is part of downtown Hamilton’s heritage revitalization and offers a flexible, open concept and adaptable workspace that encourages collaboration. Amenities within the office reflect the company’s culture of employee wellness and creativity. The space features an auditorium-style space for meetings, wellness room, games room, space for bike racks and on-site shower facilities, as well as an outdoor patio during the summer months.

 Hamilton is the fastest-growing mid-sized city in Canada for tech talent, with its tech sector growing nearly 53 per cent over the last five years. This booming industry is helping spur Hamilton’s downtown renewal.

“As our tech sector continues to grow, we’ve been working hard to cultivate and retain creative and skilled workers in our city. Q4’s expansion into Hamilton is a testament to our city’s incredible quality of life, strong tech ecosystem, and unique, affordable office space not found elsewhere,” says Judy Lam, Manager of Commercial Districts and Small Business at the City of Hamilton.

Headquartered in the trendy downtown Toronto neighbourhood of King West with offices in New York, Copenhagen and London, Q4 currently employs 250 people worldwide. Specializing in investor relations solutions, Q4 has experienced tremendous growth within the past few years, announcing major recent partnerships with S&P Global Market Intelligence, and Business Wire and doubling its client base to 2,200 within the past few months alone.

As part of its aggressive growth strategy, Q4 plans to hire over 140 people over the next 12-18 months with approximately half of those hires happening over the next three months. Q4 aims to fill a wide range of positions including web developers, quality assurance specialists, implementation managers and data entry coordinators.

Q4 is planning to partner with local post-secondary schools, including McMaster University and Mohawk College, to help further develop the talent pipeline locally. The company will host a career fair on February 7 for both professional hires and recent graduates. The career fair will be held from 5-7pm at 12 James St. North on the second floor.

15
Jan

Supercluster Scale.AI has chose 14 projects, invested $32 million since receiving funding

Scale AI has publicly invested more than $32 million to date into 14 projects, with the hopes of accelerating the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) within Canadian companies.

Scale AI was awarded $230 million from the federal government in December 2018 through the government’s Supercluster initiative. It received an additional $23.4 million in July from the Quebec government.

The recently announced projects are being conducted by nine companies and include more than 40 partners.

The various projects supported by Scale AI span a number of sectors including shipping to retail, aeronautics, healthcare, and supply chain, but all focus on adopting AI or machine learning into existing practices. After a call for applications in June, Scale AI has chose to invest in a cross sector of startups, corporations, thought leadership groups.

The Montreal-based Supercluster group announced the first projects to receive funding shortly following its call for applications – alloting a combined $5.1 million to four supply chain-focused projects.

More recently, Scale AI revealed it has invested another $27 million across 10 additional projects. The funding is broken down by $22.6 million from the Government of Canada and $4.2 million from the Government of Quebec.

Scale AI’s investments are made on the basis of companies making their own matching contributions. According to Scale AI, the combined total of capital committed to the 10 projects amounts to $75 million.

The recently announced projects are being conducted by nine companies and include more than 40 partners. The largest sum of capital was handed to Air Canada, which is leading two projects. Air Canada received $12 million from Scale AI, and $31.1 million overall, for a project using machine learning to optimize value chain and revenue management, and another implementing AI in its cargo operations.

Canadian startups that received funding include Rubikloud, which has developed AI software for enterprise retailers; AlayaCare, which recently raised $47.9 million CAD; Quebec City-based virtual, augmented, and mixed reality company OVA; open-source graphing-focused Plotly; and simulation software startup Stream Systems.

Ravel by CF, a startup spun out of commercial real estate giant Cadillac Fairview, which announced its investment from Scale AI in December, is also included in the 10 projects. Ravel received $4.8 million from the Supercluster and $13 million overall.

Other companies that received capital from Scale AI include Coveo, which recently raised $227 million CAD. Coveo is leading a project on cognitive supply chains and received $2.8 million from Scale AI and $10.8 million overall.

More information on the projects, partners, and what they are working on can be found here.

07
Jan

S&P Global Market Intelligence Enters into Strategic Alliance to Transition IR Webhosting Business to Q4 Inc.

New York/Toronto, January 7, 2019 – S&P Global Market Intelligence (S&P), a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) and provider of data, essential insights, and powerful analytics, and Q4 Inc. (Q4), a leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations solutions, announced today a strategic alliance to transition S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Investor Relations (IR) webhosting business to Q4. 

The strategic alliance allows both parties to concentrate on their core competencies, ensuring existing and future clients have access to industry-leading IR tools, data and services. 

“Since the founding of Q4, we’ve been committed to innovation and delivering the highest level of customer experience through our products, data and partnerships. This new strategic alliance helps to strengthen this commitment and allows us to more deeply serve our clients across a broader set of industries, including financial services, banking and REITs,” said Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4. “Over the last few months, we have worked hard to understand the needs of S&P’s IR webhosting clients and we look forward to welcoming them to Q4 and our innovative IR success model.” 

“We are excited to work with Q4, which has demonstrated a proven track record of providing industry-leading investor relations solutions, technology and analytics to public companies across multiple sectors,” said Greg Gartland, Chief Product Officer, S&P Global Market Intelligence. “This strategic alliance with Q4 will not only better serve our clients webhosting requirements, but also will allow S&P to enhance and add to the strategic workflow solutions we offer to investor relations officers and their staffs.” 

This alliance will also integrate S&P’s proprietary data into Q4’s portfolio of solutions, enabling further opportunities for commercial collaboration. In connection with transitioning its IR webhosting business to Q4, S&P has also made a minority investment in Q4. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

12
Dec

Sensibill deepens UK market expansion with Metro Bank partnership

Sensibill announced today that it will partner with Metro Bank, the first high street bank to open in the UK in over 100 years, to power its mobile receipt management offering. The partnership supports the bank’s mission to transform the digital experience for its small business banking clients. 

Metro Bank has invited select small business customers to join a free beta trial of its forthcoming receipt management solution within their mobile app, with a public release set to launch to all business customers in early 2020. Small businesses will be able to capture, store and organize their receipts, allowing for easy expense tracking and management. In turn, the solution helps these business owners audit-proof their business and maximize tax deductions.

Beyond offering a valuable tool for Metro Bank’s client base to use, Sensibill provides the ability to gather deep insights on customer purchase behaviors through the itemization and categorization of receipt data, providing the opportunity in which to truly personalize communications and products to customers. 

“Metro Bank is building a suite of compelling tools that will help transform the small business banking experience in the UK,” said Corey Gross, Co-Founder and CEO of Sensibill. “Our partnership with Metro Bank demonstrates our shared focus to deliver customer-centric solutions that improve the financial well-being of banking customers. We’re excited to support Metro Bank’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with their customers through digital innovation.”

Paul Riseborough, Chief Commercial Officer at Metro Bank, says: “Accounting tasks, along with chasing invoices and staying on top of receipts, are major pain points for SMEs. By partnering with Sensibill, we’re offering an innovative, digital solution that solves real problems for our customers, saving them time spent on admin and allowing them to focus on running and growing their business. And this is just the first piece in the puzzle as we set about developing a major new digital ecosystem of services to help SMEs.”

The partnership is continued proof of the widespread acceptance of digital receipt solutions, the value of item-level data, and Sensibill’s position as the preferred provider and market leader in the UK and the broader sector.

11
Dec

ScribbleLive acquired by Brazil based Rock Content

Brazilian content marketing startup Rock Content has announced the purchase of US sector player ScribbleLive, creating one of the largest companies in the segment in the Americas.

The buyout, announced exclusively to Forbes, is the continuation of the company’s international expansion, which began in 2017 with the launch of operations in Mexico. With the addition of ScribbleLive (SL), which has offices in Boca Ratón and Toronto, the enlarged Rock organization will boost its 400-strong workforce with about 100 employees. The two companies combined have a freelancer base of about 80,000 professionals.

The new company also brings a client portfolio that includes names like Red Bull, Cisco, FedEx, Dell, Reuters, Deloitte and American Express. Some of the organizations in this consolidated portfolio of over 2,000 customers that were existing clients, such as Oracle, will be catered for with services in Portuguese, Spanish and English, as well as other content-related products offered by the group.

“Being able to help our customers consolidate their content marketing efforts across multiple geographies and languages is the most exciting piece this acquisition brings,” said Rock co-founder Diego Gomes. “Our network of creative professionals is a unique feature that no other content platform can offer.”

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but, according to Gomes, the price tag is in the “tens of millions of dollars” and involved the exit of about a dozen SL investors, such as Summerhill Venture Partners, First Ascent Ventures and Fidelity Growth. The buyout was supported by a small funding round from Rock’s current investor base, which includes e.bricks Ventures, Provence Capital and Unbox Capital.

05
Dec

CIBC Innovation Banking Provides First Ascent Ventures with a Capital Call Line of Credit

Innovation Banking today announced that it has provided a capital call facility to First Ascent Ventures. The capital call facility provides First Ascent Ventures with the flexibility to make investments in portfolio companies prior to calling capital from the fund’s limited partners.

Since the firm’s founding in 2015, First Ascent Ventures has invested in emerging Canadian technology companies that are building the next generation of disruptive, enterprise B2B software that leverages the cloud, big data, analytics, mobility, AI and machine learning.

The founding partners of the Fund, Richard Black and Tony van Marken, have been involved with over 35 technology companies as founders, operating executives, advisors, and investors and have a successful growth and return track record.

First Ascent Ventures is targeting companies with growing monthly recurring revenue, a strong product offering and top tier customer references, investing from the Series A round and onwards.

“By providing First Ascent Ventures with a capital call facility, CIBC is supporting a great team of investment managers that have enhanced the Canadian technology ecosystem for many years,” said Rob Rosen, Managing Director, CIBC Innovation Banking.  “It is our pleasure to facilitate the firm’s investment thesis.”

“The CIBC Innovation Banking team are veterans of the Canadian technology ecosystem and are a proven partner to portfolio companies and VC funds. They understand the operational needs of venture capital firms and we look forward to a long and successful partnership,” said Tony van Marken, Managing Partner, First Ascent Ventures

About CIBC Innovation Banking

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to North American innovation companies at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond. With offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Denver, Menlo Park, Montreal, Reston, Toronto and Vancouver, the team has extensive experience and a strong, collaborative approach that extends across CIBC’s commercial banking and capital markets businesses in the U.S. and Canada.

 Additional information is available at www.firstascent.vc

04
Jul

Digital receipt player Sensibill raises $31.5m

Sensibill, a Toronto-based AI-powered digital receipt startup targeting freelancers and small business owners, has raised US$31.5 million in a Series B funding round joined by National Bank of Canada.

The round, led by AI-focused venture fund Radical Ventures, and joined by Information Venture Partners and First Ascent Ventures, brings Sensibill’s total financing to $46.5 million.

Founded in 2013, Sensibill works with banks such as TD and Scotiabank to incorporate its digital receipt technology into their apps, enabling personal and business customers to manage line item receipts from their phones.

The platform uses machine learning to structure receipt data and give both banks and their customers rich insights such as product information, return policy tracking and auto-categorisation.

Since its 2017 Series A round, the firm has doubled its headcount, opened a London office and has now won more than 30 bank deals in Canada, the US and UK, many with Tier 1 players such as RBS.

Corey Gross, CEO, Sensibill, says: “What we’re trying to do at Sensibill is bridge the gap between what banks are good at today, and where they need to be in five or ten years to protect their relationships from disruption. Tools beyond core banking, an incredible customer experience, and meaningful customer insights for banks–that’s what we bring to the table.”

17
Jun

Dialogue concludes a $40-million round of financing

DialoguePR_image

Dialogue, the leading virtual healthcare platform in Canada, today announced the closing of a $40-million round of financing led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Holtzbrinck Ventures. The company will use the funds to maintain its leading position in Canada and continue its expansion in the European market.

Also participating in the financing round were First Ascent Ventures, Portag3 Ventures, White Star Capital, Walter Capital and National Bank of Canada (TSX: NA).

Dialogue offers companies services to directly access front-line health-care professionals. Using a virtual technology platform that provides optimized triage, the companies’ employees and their family members can contact a professional using a mobile application or the internet.

Founded in 2016 with the support of incubator Diagram Ventures, Dialogue quickly positioned itself as a leading player in its sector. The company now has over 400 clients of all sizes, including companies such as National Bank, Lightspeed, Industrial Alliance, Air Canada Vacations, Stingray, Cirque du Soleil, Hopper and WSP.

In addition to its service offering for companies, Dialogue also provides its platform, which facilitates and increases the accuracy of triage through the use of artificial intelligence, to hospitals. A pilot project is underway with the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) and the technology will soon be deployed at the world-famous Hospital Berlin-Buch to support triage in its emergency rooms.

“We are privileged to have the backing of a quality institution such as CDPQ,” said Cherif Habib, CEO and Co-founder of Dialogue. “This new financing from our partners will help push our company to new heights by consolidating our Canadian expansion and continuing to grow in Europe. None of this would be possible without the significant contribution of all the other partners involved in this round of financing, whom I sincerely thank.”

“This transaction aligns well with our Québec investment strategy. In addition to supporting the company’s expansion into new international markets, CDPQ is again supporting an innovative, new economy company that integrates artificial intelligence into its business solutions to enhance its performance,” stated Thomas Birch, Managing director, Venture capital and Technologies at CDPQ. “This is an investment by our Fonds CDPQ-IA, announced this winter, which focuses on accelerating the commercialization of Québec artificial intelligence solutions.”

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ABOUT DIALOGUE
Dialogue is a virtual platform offering integrated health care services for employers to keep their employees happy, healthy, and performing at their highest potential. A full range of health professionals (nurses, physicians and allied health practitioners) is available at the click of a button via mobile phone or computer to help employees optimize their work-life balance. To learn more, visit dialogue.co, follow us on Twitter @godialogue or visit our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2018, it held CA$309.5 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. CDPQ is present in India through its subsidiary CDPQ India, located in New Delhi. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.