Richard Black

Richard Black is a co-founder and Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures. Richard has over 28 years of experience in senior roles with some of Canada’s largest VC firms, Helix Investments Ltd. and RBC Capital Partners. He also founded Walsingham Growth Partners with a large Canadian Family office, which invested in industrial technologies.

Richard played a key role in turning Helix Investments, Canada’s oldest private venture capital fund at the time, into one of the largest and most profitable growth capital firms in Canada. Helix’s lead investments included such Canadian technology leaders as Mitel, Open Text, Geac, Hummingbird, Data Mirror and Architel.

Richard served as Managing Director of RBC Capital Partners, where he was responsible for the management of the Technology Venture Fund, a private capital fund investing in technology, advanced manufacturing and alternative energy opportunities throughout North America.

Richard has been actively involved in a full range of growth and liquidity issues for investee companies including building management teams, arranging syndicates for first round and follow-on investments, building boards of directors, initiating issuer bids, and completing public issues in Canada, the United States and the UK.

Richard holds an Honors Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business, where he was on the Dean’s List.



  • Helix Investments
  • RBC Capital Partners
  • Walsingham Growth Partners

Prior Exits

  • Assent Compliance (partial exit to Warburg Pincus)
  • Analog Design Automation (acquired by Synopsis)
  • Architel Systems (NASDAQ & TSX, acquired by Nortel)
  • Atrion International (acquired by IHS Inc.)
  • CRS Robotics (TSX, acquired by Thermo Fisher)
  • ESI Software (TSX, acquired by Dye + Durham)
  • Genesis Worldwide (TSX & AIM, acquired by Codding Enterprises)
  • Level Platforms (acquired by AVG Technologies)
  • ListenUP! Canada (acquired Willam Demant)
  • LogicVision (NASDAQ, acquired by Mentor Graphics)
  • OpenText Corporation (NASDAQ: OTC)
  • Syndesis Limited (acquired by Subex Azure)
  • Wyvern (acquired by Sybase)


OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 – Kinaxis® Inc. (TSX: KXS), the authority in driving agility for fast, confident decision-making in an unpredictable world, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Rubikloud, a disruptive, emerging provider of AI solutions that automate supply chain prescriptive analytics and decision-making in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

Globally-recognized retailers and CPG manufacturers in the health and beauty, household and grocery segments use Rubikloud’s AI-based products today. Their offerings include demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize trade promotions, pricing and assortment to drive product demand and dramatically improve financial results. Kinaxis will enhance RapidResponse’s demand planning capabilities with the Rubikloud offerings, anticipating initial opportunities in the company’s rapidly-growing CPG customer base and over time for other industries such as life sciences. The acquisition also offers Kinaxis a springboard into the enterprise retail industry.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our CPG customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning (ML) team here at Kinaxis. Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform and applications,” said John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis. “This acquisition reflects the growing importance of AI and ML to power intelligent automation and augment human decision-making to better deliver on customer promises, remove waste and increase resiliency for effective risk management.”

Rubikloud’s SaaS-based ML offerings empower retail and CPG manufacturers to transform their core operations by improving and automating complex, profit-generating decisions. Rubikloud’s proven AI capabilities and intuitive tools enable users to leverage disparate data sources to improve forecast accuracy, site-level allocations, inventory availability and promotion plans by allowing users to run boundless simulations in real time.

“We founded Rubikloud with the belief that purpose-built AI could be used to solve some of the most complex industry problems and we have spent the last seven years building a fantastic product that receives validation from global customers every day,” said Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud. “We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own. Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Terms of Agreement
Kinaxis will acquire Rubikloud for US$60 million in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close within 60 days. Based on Rubikloud’s current revenue and expense profile, the company’s fiscal 2020 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance, as reiterated in its May 6, 2020 news release, remains unchanged. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About Kinaxis Inc. 
Everyday volatility and uncertainty demand quick action. Kinaxis® delivers the agility to make fast, confident decisions across integrated business planning and the digital supply chain. People can plan better, live better and change the world. Trusted by innovative brands, we combine human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for any future, monitor risks and opportunities and respond at the pace of change. Powered by an extensible, cloud-based platform, Kinaxis delivers industry-proven applications so everyone can know sooner, act faster and remove waste. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.