Category: Uncategorized

29
Apr

Opportunities in Privacy & Security Emerging During COVID-19

This article, by First Ascent Ventures, is the first in a series that will outline emerging trends across the Privacy and Security space.

Katharine Tomko, Venture Partner at First Ascent Ventures

It would be an understatement to say that COVID-19 has drastically altered daily life and business dealings across the globe. The Canadian technology space is not immune to this disruption and as a venture fund supporting local innovation, the daily announcement of layoffs across the technology ecosystem has been painful to watch.

At First Ascent Ventures, we have worked very closely with each of our North American portfolio companies to deepen our understanding of not only the challenges but also the numerous opportunities(eternal Canadian optimists!) that exist across various verticals in enterprise software.

One such area that First Ascent Ventures has spent considerable time exploring is the Privacy and Security startup space. In the past year, the fund has added significant privacy industry expertise with Katharine Tomko, the Former Head of Privacy Programs at Facebook, joining as a Venture Partner.

This article will discuss some of the work our fund has undertaken in the Privacy and Security space, and specifically, outline four areas within privacy that have been highlighted as “ripe for startup disruption” since the COVID-19 crisis emerged.


Trends and Opportunities

Connecting Remote Workers With The Systems And Services That They Need To Perform Their Jobs.

Problem — While most companies have the infrastructure for remote employee connectivity (VPN, etc.), very few have the capacity to provide for a fully remote workforce for months at a time. The first weeks of lockdown were a scramble for hardware capacity, circuit upgrades, and hasty network configuration changes with a view of ‘it’s an emergency, we’ll clean this up later’, and the associated security headaches. Employee productivity was often hampered by poor network performance, as over-taxed VPN infrastructure was forced to scale beyond its design.

Opportunity — “Support of large scale remote working” as a highly available, performance service is now a budgetary item for every company that employs knowledge workers. Most forward-thinking companies will iterate beyond the traditional centralized VPN architecture, and move to a ‘zero trust’ architecture, as popularized by Google’s own corporate network with their ‘Beyond Corp’ design. The Zero Trust model assumes that there are hackers both within and outside the network, which effectively prevents any machine from being automatically trusted. Zero Trust ultimately shifts access controls from the perimeter (ie. a VPN gateway) to internally authenticating and verifying individual devices and computers. This allows employees to work securely from any location without the need for a traditional VPN. This will serve as a major technology refresh for most large companies and their ‘traditional’ VPN device vendors will not be able to accommodate this change with their existing holistic solutions. There are no standout ‘incumbent’ players in this massive market, and opportunities exist across all areas of this architecture.

Securing And Tracking Remote Employee Assets.

Problem — There are in essence two problems at work here. First, most large IT infrastructures have been built with the physical office in mind, and remote workers are an afterthought. Existing management systems and security tooling are often subpar for remote devices. Second, the biggest security problem that most companies have is understanding their existing device inventory; solid asset management and inventory are the cornerstones of any good security program — for example, you can’t patch unaccounted-for inventory. The Equifax breach, which happened through a staging server that was ‘forgotten’, is an illustrative example. Remote working further exacerbates this problem as the assets are pushed out beyond the traditional network edge.

Opportunity — A significant amount of security budget dollars have been spent on plugging ’security devices’ into internal networks over the past twenty years (intrusion detection, etc.). As the design of the network changes towards a model where both ‘on network’ and remote workers are treated equally as first class citizens, we can expect a whole new category of security control to emerge. The billions of dollars spent on security hardware will move into software. Similarly, as companies move to a ‘zero trust’ networking architecture, they will be fully reliant on their asset management and inventory systems being up to date to ensure that they are only providing data access to devices that they actively manage and maintain.

Business Continuity Planning & Execution.

Problem — While most companies have some form of a business continuity plan, it’s usually a neglected 45 page document at the bottom of a drawer, with little understanding of its practical use. During COVID-19, boards, investors and key customers were all asking for details on business continuity plans, often requiring a copy of the actual document, and specifics on how it has been tested and updated over time.

Opportunity —Business continuity planning is a fairly specialized practice, with ‘control owners’ spread across all parts of the organization. It’s extremely laborious to create, test, update and attain management approval for these plans, and they are almost always missing some key types of ‘disaster’ — how many companies had ‘pandemic’ as a realistic risk to plan for in 2020? Now that companies have executed their plans (often for the first time), and been forced into transparency with their key stakeholders, we can expect to see renewed focus on building and maintaining a comprehensive disaster recovery/business continuity plan. There are opportunities for software to streamline this process, from guiding the organization through best practices in creating the plan, to managing control ownership across the organization, to ensuring regular testing of the plan and providing board visibility.

Physical Security/Safety of Employees.

Problem — While most travel has been eliminated from company budgeted expenses for the second and third quarter of 2020, many foresee a steady return to normal business travel later this year and into early 2021. Companies are responsible for the safety of their employees while they are on business travel or working in remote offices, and employee health (exposure to outbreaks, etc.), and safety (civil unrest, quarantine rules, etc.), will be a top priority. It has been some time since the average employee contemplated their safety while traveling for business. If business travel is really necessary for a job function, expect employees to hold their employer to a higher standard when it comes to safeguarding their health.

Opportunity — The largest and most forward-thinking companies already track and provide support to their employees while on business travel. As both employer and employee fully internalize who really owns the risks of business travel, expect these types of ‘global security operations centers’ to become more commonplace at large organizations, and to trickle down into smaller companies. Opportunities exist for software to support these functions, with integrations into corporate travel systems and automated integrations with government travel advisories.


Conclusion

We would encourage both startups and larger organizations to reflect on these four emerging trends in the privacy and security space and examine their own capabilities to address these concerns. First Ascent Ventures is confident that while these issues arose because of the massive work from home movement caused by COVID-19, enterprises will continue to keep privacy and security top of mind even after the world returns to normalcy (i.e. back to the office).

First Ascent Ventures is dedicated to working with companies and/or investors addressing these gaps in enterprise privacy. We hope to contribute and ensure that the next-generation of enterprise security is one that actively prepares companies for the future privacy challenges that lie ahead, rather than reacting after it is too late.

Please reach out to Noah@firstascent.vc to collaborate with us.

First Ascent Ventures — Who We Are And Behind the Name

Makalu as seen from the Summit of Everest. Photography by Tony van Marken, Founder, First Ascent Ventures

First Ascent Ventures was founded in 2015 and is a Toronto based VC fund that invests in emerging Canadian and U.S.-based technology companies that are building the next generation of disruptive, enterprise B2B software. www.firstascent.vc

In mountaineering, a first ascent is the first successful, documented summit of a mountain by an unclimbed route. First ascents are notable because they entail genuine exploration, with greater risks, challenges and recognition than climbing a route pioneered by others. This is not dissimilar to the challenges and risks involved in building a start-up technology company.

27
Apr

Upchain ranks as #2 in top list of PLM systems based on customer satisfaction

According to the G2 website:

“A product’s satisfaction score is calculated by a proprietary algorithm that factors in real-user satisfaction ratings from review data. Software buyers can compare products according to their satisfaction scores to streamline the buying process and quickly identify the best products based on the experiences of their peers.”

The company outperformed incumbents such as Oracle (#7), SAP (#11) and PTC (#12).

This follows the G2 Crowds spring 2020 awards, at which the company received 6. These include: Users love Us, being a Momentum leader to Easiest to Set up.

For more information visit: https://www.g2.com/categories/plm?tab=highest_rated

15
Apr

Q4 Inc. Secures $25 Million From CIBC Innovation Banking to Support Ongoing Growth

TORONTO – CIBC Innovation Banking is pleased to announce a $25 million credit facility for Q4 Inc. (Q4), a Toronto based leading global provider of cloud-based investor relations and capital markets solutions. Q4 will use this latest growth financing to support continued scaling of its team, deepening of its best-in-class technology platform, and the continued pursuit of inorganic growth opportunities.

“Q4 provides an innovative and modern platform of tools that truly enables investor relations professionals”

Q4 is the industry’s only full-suite provider of investor relations solutions, delivering products to serve needs across websites, virtual events, corporate access, data & analytics, CRM and capital markets intelligence. Q4 is used by 2,200 clients across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.

“We are excited to work with the team at CIBC Innovation Banking and appreciate its support as we execute on our mission of helping IR teams deliver strategic impact to their companies,” said Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4. “The strategic importance of investor relations is made ever more apparent during challenging times. We are proud to have the backing of CIBC Innovation Banking and our other investors as we do everything in our power to help IR teams successfully navigate through to market recovery.”

Q4 completed a $35 million USD growth equity raise in 2018, and since then has achieved significant organic and inorganic growth, including notable strategic transactions with Business Wire and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Q4 provides an innovative and modern platform of tools that truly enables investor relations professionals,” said Mark Usher, Managing Director and North American Team Lead, CIBC Innovation Banking. “They have built a durable and growing company and we are very excited to work with their team.”

Q4 is backed by leading investment firms Napier Park Financial Partners, First Ascent Ventures, and Information Venture Partners, along with other notable venture capital and angel investors.

About CIBC Innovation Banking

CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, funding and cash management 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.

09
Apr

ThinkData Named Overall Data Science Solution of the Year

Toronto, ON – April 8th 2020 — ThinkData Works, Inc., the Toronto tech company behind the data management platform, Namara, has been selected as the winner of the ‘Overall Data Science Solution of the Year‘ award by Data Breakthrough.On April 8th, Data Breakthrough announced the results of the 2020 Data Breakthrough Awards program, showcasing technologies and companies that are driving global innovation. Data Breakthrough is part of the Tech Breakthrough organization, a leading market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in today’s most competitive sectors, including IoT, Cyber Security, Mobile/Wireless, Digital Health, Fintech and the Data Sector.

Data Breakthrough Awards

“We are thrilled to be recognized with the 2020 Data Breakthrough Award for Best Overall Data Science Solution; this is a massive vote of confidence for our platform and vision,” said Bryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of ThinkData Works. “As one of the only three Canadian companies represented, we’re showing that Canada is building industry-leading tech that competes on the global stage.”

This year’s Data category attracted more than 2,500 nominations from over 15 countries. Other category winners include industry leaders such as Sumo Logic, Dremio, Cloudera, and Looker, to name a few.

All award nominations were evaluated by an independent panel of experts within the data industry across a variety of disciplines, with the winning products and companies selected based on innovation, performance, ease of use, functionality, value, and impact.

The 2020 Data Breakthrough Award winners include: 

Industry Leadership
Best Use of AI in Data Tech: SnapLogic, Intelligent Integration Platform
Data Tech Startup of the Year: Sisu
Overall Data Science Solution of the Year: ThinkData Works
Overall Data Tech Solution of the Year: Matillion

Data Management
Data Processing Solution of the Year: Snowplow Analytics
Data Monitoring Solution of the Year: Innominds, iFusion Analytics
Data Management Innovation of the Year: GigaSpaces, AnalyticsXtreme
Data Management Company of the Year: Druva

Data Analytics
Data Visualization Solution of the Year: OmniSci
Log Analytics Solution of the Year: SolarWinds® Loggly®
Data Analytics Solution of the Year: Sumo Logic, Continuous Intelligence Platform™
Overall Data Analytics Platform of the Year: Dremio, Dremio Data Lake Engine 4.0
Overall Data Analytics Company of the Year: Looker

Infrastructure
In-Memory Solution of the Year: Exasol
NoSQL Solution of the Year: SolarWinds® Database Performance Monitor (DPM)
MPP DBS Solution of the Year: Cloudera
Cloud EDW Solution of the Year: ZE PowerGroup Inc., ZEMA™ and ZE Cloud

Open Source
Overall Open Source Data Solution of the Year: Kong Inc.
Overall Open Source Data Solution Provider of the Year: Neo4j

Data Warehouse
Data Warehouse Solution of the Year: Yellowbrick Data
Data Warehouse Solution Provider of the Year: SQream

Hardware
Semiconductor Product of the Year: UPMEM
Data Center Solution of the Year: Equinix
Server Solution of the Year: IBM

Data Storage
Flash Storage Solution of the Year: Pavilion Data Systems
Overall Data Storage Solution of the Year: Nasuni
Overall Data Storage Company of the Year: Qumulo

Industry Applications
Data Solution of the Year – Retail: Premise Data
Data Solution of the Year – Insurance: Daisy Intelligence
Data Solution of the Year – Finance: Zaloni
Data Solution of the Year – Industrial: QAD



About ThinkData Works
ThinkData Works, Inc. makes data access easy. Efficient tools let users stream data from any public or private source in the world. ThinkData’s platform, Namara, provides data scientists with access to more data, automation for reduced overhead in prep and processing, and more confidence in new data to fuel products, models, and solutions. To learn more, please visit Namara and connect on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

About Data Breakthrough
Part of Tech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence and recognition platform for technology innovation and leadership, the Data Breakthrough Awards program is devoted to honoring excellence in data technologies, services, companies and products. The Data Breakthrough Awards program provides a forum for public recognition around the achievements of data companies and solutions in categories including data analytics, management, infrastructure and hardware, storage, Business Intelligence and more. For more information visit DataBreakthroughAwards.com.

31
Mar

Sun Life announces free virtual health care services to Group Benefits Clients

TORONTO, March 31, 2020 – As Canada and its health care system continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sun Life is taking action to help support Clients and Canadians in need of enhanced medical support while social distancing.

Starting today, Sun Life is progressively rolling out free access to virtual health care services for its Group Benefits Clients with an Extended Health Care (EHC) benefit. In partnership with Dialogue, Clients will be able to use the virtual clinic to connect directly with a health care professional.

The service – Lumino Health Virtual Care – is being offered free of charge for an initial period to support Clients through the global health crisis. Sun Life is including the service into Clients’ EHC Benefit, giving employers, employees and their families convenient access to health care, when and where they need it.

Lumino Health Virtual Care brings the best of two offerings together – Lumino Health and Dialogue. Lumino Health is Sun Life’s online digital platform that connects Canadians with local health care providers, offers health-related content and shares innovative health solutions to help Canadians live healthier lives. The virtual care service will be powered by Dialogue, Canada’s leading telemedicine provider, dedicated exclusively to the world’s leading organizations.

“Today, more than ever, our Clients need us,” said Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. “Our country is in the middle of a health crisis. Offering free virtual health care services to our Clients will hopefully relieve some of their stress, support social distancing efforts across the country and alleviate some of the load on Canada’s emergency health care system. We are offering this service free of charge because it is the right thing to do,” Goulet added.

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 care manager, 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.

“Given the COVID-19 outbreak, access to health care has never been more critical. Dialogue is proud to continue playing a pivotal role, helping Canadians stay healthy and happy,” says Cherif Habib, CEO of Dialogue. “Partnering with Sun Life will help millions of Canadians quickly access health care through our secure platform from the comfort of their home. This is needed now more than ever.”  

Connecting all Canadians to virtual paramedical support

In addition to providing free virtual medical services to Group Benefits Clients, Sun Life has also taken action to support all Canadians through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Through Lumino Health, all Canadians can access health care providers digitally. The platform enables Canadians to easily find and book an appointment with a health care professional, such as a psychologist, physiotherapist and other paramedical providers.

In response to COVID-19, Lumino Health recently partnered with OnCall Health, a secure virtual care platform trusted by thousands of Canadian health care providers. This partnership enables paramedical providers on the Lumino Health platform to connect virtually with their patients.

Click here for more information about Lumino Health.

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 December 31, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,099 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.

29
Mar

Dialogue partners with MILA – Institut Québécois d’Intelligence Artificielle to help deal with COVID-19

Dialogue has partnered with Mila – Institut Québécois d’Intelligence ArtificielleNuance Communications and the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS) to help reduce the strain on government helplines like 811 during the COVID-19 outbreak. And now, we need your help! All we ask if that you provide Chloe, our virtual medical assistant, with any question you have regarding COVID-19. Through machine learning and AI, this will allow us to start training the tool to answer.

(Note: all questions submitted remain anonymous.) https://hubs.ly/H0nNCQH0

After receiving numerous questions from organizations looking to protect employees from the coronavirus outbreak, Dialogue has also developed The Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guide for Canadian Organizations. In this guide, you’ll find medically-validated resources like checklists to prepare your workplace, posters, and our own internal communications that you can adapt for your own purposes.

Check back often as we’ll continue to make updates as the situation evolves. https://lnkd.in/eGpUxTb

23
Mar

ThinkData works builds a repoistory of COVID19 data for researchers

ThinkDataWorks has built a repository of #COVID19 data that’s being constantly updated and is accessible through our platform, Namara – free to all researchers!

The company is gathering, standardizing, and centralizing the data to make it easier to draw insight, to build models, and to understand and curb COVID-19.

Access the data: https://lnkd.in/gG32niV

Please share with your networks to help get it into the hands of people who can make a difference. Here’s a post with more information: https://lnkd.in/gN9yU3F

26
Feb

LinkSquares raises USD$14.5 million to expedite contract management with AI

Boston – February 26 2020 – LinkSquares, provider of the fastest and most comprehensive AI-powered SaaS contract management and analysis tool, today announced it has raised $14.5 million in Series A financing led by Jump Capital. New investor First Ascent Ventures and existing investors MassMutual Ventures and Hyperplane Venture Capital also participated in the round. The company has raised $21.4 million to date, and will use the financing to expand its engineering, sales and product teams, as well as build out its solution portfolio.

“The potential for LinkSquares is huge, as in-house counsel and operational leaders begin to leverage LinkSquares to address pain points felt across the organization, from M&A to financing, sales and beyond.”

With more than half a million contracts under management, LinkSquares helps its hundreds of customers understand and better mitigate risks and liabilities in minutes, not months. With LinkSquares, customers have automatically extracted more than five million unique data points on parties, contract effectiveness date and other key legal terms. Companies such as DraftKings, Fitbit, Twilio, Asurion, VMware and Pendo rely on LinkSquares to elevate their internal value, reputation and productivity by eliminating time spent on manual and ineffective processes so they can protect their companies with confidence.

“LinkSquares is a great example of an enterprise AI use case leveraging advances in natural language processing technology to replace tedious and labor-intensive processes with elegant automation. Its world-class team developed a sophisticated AI-powered tool that is impressively accurate, fast and intuitive,” said Saurabh Sharma, partner at Jump Capital. “The potential for LinkSquares is huge, as in-house counsel and operational leaders begin to leverage LinkSquares to address pain points felt across the organization, from M&A to financing, sales and beyond.”

By capturing and analyzing every contract created and stored, from inception through a company’s evolution, LinkSquares gives legal teams and their constituents full visibility into their contract repository’s data, content and liabilities. The company’s technology gives midmarket customers a blend of proprietary quality assurance, ready-to-use artificial intelligence and powerful insights across a scalable platform to provide the fastest and most comprehensive post-signature tool on the market today.

“This investment is a testament to the power of our product, incredible growth in 2019, and the innovation of our team. With LinkSquares, customers are tackling universal contract management problems that historically have kept their legal teams buried in countless manual tasks,” said Vishal Sunak, CEO of LinkSquares. “With our new and existing venture partners, I’m confident that today’s investment will enable us to help even more companies move beyond contract management struggles, and realign their priorities, processes and outcomes.”

Katharine Tomko, Partner at First Ascent Ventures, said, “To stay competitive, enterprises are leaning on the speed of the cloud and artificial intelligence to cut through the minutiae. LinkSquares has made it easy for legal teams to simplify the contract management process and harness untapped insights locked away in scanned documents. When in-house counsel breaks free from old constraints with LinkSquares, then sales, finance and the rest of the enterprise wins.”

Nicole Ducharme, director of contract negotiations for DataRobot said, “As our company grew from hundreds to thousands of employees, our legal team needed to maintain our contract repository with having to manually rename files, manage document permissions, and other administrative tasks. There were a lot of steps in our previous contract management process, and we were looking for a system to make it as simple as possible. LinkSquares has saved us hundreds of hours by reducing the number of steps we needed to manage our contracts and giving us valuable insights. I use LinkSquares on a daily basis to search for terms and language we’ve liked, as well as easily run reports to find specific information for new projects, all within a streamlined process.”

Beau Sylvester, legal operations lead 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. LinkSquares provides an AI powered cloud based solution that takes manual work out of document management. 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.”

Additionally, today LinkSquares announced the expansion of its Smart Values data set. LinkSquares Smart Values, such as “Termination Date” and “Auto Renewal,” are defined based on the most important commercial terms in contract management. Smart Values enable organizations to extract contract data, trends and patterns via pretrained algorithms in customized reports in approximately five minutes. With the addition of 20 new Premium Smart Values like “Payment Terms,” “Limitation of Liability,” and more, LinkSquares customers now have access to a total of 30 critical commercial terms, as well as to full clauses.

Key benefits LinkSquares offers include:

  • Powerful insights – Know what’s in your contracts without having to read them one-by-one with best-in-class AI, OCR, metadata extraction, and proprietary QA process.
  • Security – Ensure your data is always secure with enterprise-level controls built into each step of the contract management process. LinkSquares is SOC 2 Type II certified by an independent 3rd party auditor.
  • Speed – Find exactly what you’re looking for and create customized reports easily. Get started in weeks, not months with our white-glove onboarding.

About Jump Capital
Jump Capital is a thesis-led venture capital firm specializing in series A/B and growth-stage investments ranging from $2 million to $20 million. Jump focuses on data-driven software companies across the FinTech, IT and Data Infrastructure, Enterprise SaaS and Media sectors. Investing with an operating-centric approach, Jump provides advocacy and support for entrepreneurs, complemented with institutional level resources. Visit https://jumpcap.com/ for more information or follow us @jumpcapital.

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.