Tag: Canada

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

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.

17
Oct

Royal Bank of Scotland partners with Sensibill to give business banking customers greater control of their finances

TORONTO, Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Sensibill have partnered to alleviate a major pain point for small business banking customers: receipt management. Sensibill’s digital receipt solution will bring convenience to small business owners, allowing them to manage their cash flow, and streamline their administrative efficiencies directly from their mobile banking app.

The service—which will be available to all small business customers via their RBS mobile banking app in January 2018—will allow customers to scan their receipts using their iOS or Android camera. The receipts will be reconciled with card transactions held by the business, allowing users to track spending and categorize expenses for HMRC, as well as create reports for invoicing or accounting purposes.

This partnership sets the bar for how banks and financial technology companies can work together to better serve customers and address their needs.

“No bank can expect to thrive without listening to the evolving needs of customers, and by partnering with Sensibill, we’re offering proactive help and best-in-class innovation for free – allowing small businesses to spend less time on admin, and more time on what they do best,” said Marcelino Castrillo, managing director of business banking at NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland.

Initial trials of Sensibill’s service indicated that 88% of small business banking customers found the app to be “good” or “very good”. As for how the service influenced customers’ perception of the bank, 78% of customers said that they would recommend NatWest if the bank offered the service in the future.

“It’s simple – if banks don’t service their customers’ needs, someone else will. Every time a customer uses a competing solution to solve their financial pain, customer loyalty erodes. This is especially relevant with open banking gaining momentum, and third-parties having access to customer information that was once in the bank’s custody. There has never been a more critical time for banks to invest in their customers and invest in services that will retain them,” said Corey Gross, CEO and Co-Founder at Sensibill.

About Sensibill

Sensibill works with the most innovative global financial institutions to solve their customers’ pain point of managing receipts. Sensibill’s solution drives net new engagements across online and mobile banking channels, while unlocking deep purchase insights across all payment methods. The service is fully white-labeled, designed specifically to meet bank requirements and is live with Tier 1 financial institutions today. To find out more, visit www.getsensibill.com, and connect with us on twitter.com/getsensibill and linkedin.com/company/sensibill-inc-.

21
Sep

ScribbleLive acquires ion interactive

TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ – ScribbleLive, the leading content experience platform, announced today that it has acquired interactive content platform provider, ion interactive. With this acquisition, ScribbleLive further strengthens its ability to help companies manage the full lifecycle of their content by bringing new interactive capabilities to its platform.

ion interactive is an enterprise SaaS platform that empowers modern marketers to produce data-driven interactive content at scale and without code. As part of ScribbleLive’s content experience platform, ion interactive gives marketers and content-focused teams new capabilities and opportunities to manage interactive experiences. In particular, ScribbleLive’s content creation capabilities – with it’s Visually network of 1,500+ creative professionals – will help customers supercharge their interactive content, across a wide range of formats and experiences.

“Buyers actually need to interact with a brand about 10 to 15 times before they buy a product,” said Vincent Mifsud, CEO of ScribbleLive. “At ScribbleLive, we want to help content-focused teams move beyond developing one-off experiences, and consider their interactive brand as an opportunity to quickly drive relevant experiences and revenue. Every buyer touchpoint is an opportunity for insight and understanding.”

This is ScribbleLive’s largest acquisition to-date, adding over 50 ion interactive employees and 250+ enterprise customers – including major brands like Salesforce, Starbucks, Deloitte and M&T Bank, further strengthening its focus across software, education, finance and healthcare verticals. ion interactive also has developed strong relationships with many industry leading agencies, making the company a powerful addition to ScribbleLive’s partner network.

“At ScribbleLive, we are helping businesses make content their competitive advantage. Adding ion interactive’s deep expertise and innovative technology is an exciting opportunity to help our customers create truly relevant and effective content,” added Mifsud. “We welcome the fantastic ion teams in Boca Raton, FL and Boston to the ScribbleLive family and look forward to working together.”

To learn more about ScribbleLive and its offerings, please visit Scribblelive.com.

About ScribbleLive
ScribbleLive is the world’s leading content experience platform. ScribbleLive help brands, sports and media organizations manage the full lifecycle of their content. With ScribbleLive, you can ideate, plan, create, distribute and measure your content for any stage of the buyer’s journey. ScribbleLive can help make content your competitive advantage and is trusted by over 1,200 customers including Oracle, Red Bull, the NBA and Microsoft.

03
Mar

Sensibill closes $17.3 million Series A to scale digital receipt data service for banks

Sensibill closes $17.3 million Series A to scale digital receipt data service for banks

TORONTO, ON – March 02, 2017 – Sensibill has raised a sizeable $17.3 million Series A led by Information Venture Partners and OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF).

Sensibill offers a suite of value-added services for mobile banking apps centered around the everyday receipt and enabled by machine learning. Last year, the FinTech company, which is headquartered in Toronto, launched its core product, a smart receipt management service, with Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust’s mobile wallet app UGO Wallet. The round led by Canadian VC firms is one of the largest A-rounds in Canada to date.

“We are pleased to be leading this round of investment,” said David Unsworth, Co-Founder and General Partner at Information Venture Partners. “As experienced financial technology investors, we have long believed in the inevitable ubiquity of mobile banking as a core digital channel for all financial institutions. We believe Sensibill is well-positioned to bring its digital receipt capabilities into every mobile banking application and are thrilled to be their partner as they continue to scale and develop a world-class financial technology company.”

Sensibill says the funds will enable the company to continue developing a robust system that can structure data from any merchant receipt and return rich insights to consumers and businesses alike. Currently, Sensibill is the market leader in extracting and structuring receipt data using deep learning techniques, but the startup claims that this is only the beginning compared to what they are layering on-top.

“We knew that people wanted an intuitive and secure solution for managing their receipts, but we’ve also learned a great deal about how they want to make better use of their purchase information,” said Corey Gross, Co-Founder and CEO of Sensibill. “Think reminders for when warranties expire, being able to optimize household budgets, and highly targeted credit card rewards. That’s where machine learning comes into play, and we’re excited to add more fuel to our growing research and AI team right here in Toronto.”

Globally, financial institutions are waking up to the potential of receipt data. The demand is growing for receipt solutions that are able to contextualize purchase information down to the payment and SKU-level. Having already announced partnerships with Tier 1 Canadian banks, Sensibill plans on allocating the new resources towards growth and delivery efforts in the United States, U.K, and Australia.

Sensibill has attracted investment from industry veterans — a strategic move on the company’s part. “We want to work with investors who really understand banktech, and have had industry-defining success building and scaling financial services companies,” says Gross. Sensibill’s B2B2C partnership model for bringing new technology to banks and their customers is a welcomed deviation from the “challenger” position FinTechs often take.

“Banks are hungry for innovative customer-facing solutions that solve everyday pain points. The reason digital receipts are such a desirable offering is because it has mass customer appeal and enables personalization,” said Drew Sievers, founding partner of San Francisco-based Operative Capital and former founder and CEO of mobile banking pioneer, mFoundry. “Sensibill has delivered impressive results for some of the largest banks in the world, and is now well-positioned to be a global leader and an indispensable partner to financial institutions.”

“Our investment reflects our belief in the tremendous market potential for their technology and management’s ability to execute on their vision. In a short space of time Sensibill has closed deals with some of the world’s leading financial institutions in a highly competitive environment. We are very excited about their growth prospects and look forward to working with Corey and his outstanding team,” said Tony van Marken, General Partner at OTEAF.

Both Unsworth and van Marken will be joining Sensibill’s board of directors.
San Francisco-based Operative Capital, Mistral Venture Partners, and existing investor Impression Ventures have also participated in the round.

About Sensibill
Sensibill is a white-label Software as a Service platform that allows personal and business banking customers to manage line-item receipts directly from their desktop and mobile banking applications. Customers can capture and store paper and electronic receipts, which can then be accessed and used for returns, exchanges, expenses, taxes and accounting.
Sensibill leverages rich item-level purchase data to deliver personalization and contextualized services to banking customers. To find out more visit www.getsensibill.com.

About Information Venture Partners
Information Venture Partners (IVP) is a Toronto-based venture capital group investing out of its $106 million second fund. IVP is focused on fast-growing enterprise FinTech and enterprise software companies based in North America. As a Series A investor, IVP looks for rapidly growing companies with differentiated technology solutions addressing significant market opportunities. Portfolio companies include Adaptive Insights, Verafin, Igloo Software, eSentire, PostBeyond, Q4 and Sensibill. Follow IVP on the web at www.informationvp.com or on Twitter @informationvp.

About OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund
The OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF) was formed in 2015 and invests in Canadian technology companies that are building disruptive, enterprise applications that leverage the power of the internet, big data, predictive analytics, mobility and machine learning. OTEAF has offices in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. www.oteaf.vc