Tag: Series A

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

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-.

06
May

Assent Compliance Attracts $20 Million Investment To Drive Global Growth

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OTTAWA, ON – May6, 2016 – The investment is led by Boston-based Volition Capital with participation from OpenText Enterprise Application Fund (OTEAF), Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and private investors.

Assent Compliance provides a comprehensive all-in-one compliance automation platform for organizations required to comply with a variety of product stewardship, materials management and ethical sourcing regulations. The funding will enable Assent Compliance to continue to invest in its platform and increase the number of team members across all divisions, particularly in R&D and Product Management. With a current headcount of 165, this growth will involve an additional 100 new hires over the coming 12-18 months.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Assent management team”, said Richard Black, General Partner at OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund. “Assent Compliance has demonstrated their capabilities with proven success working with top tier customers. With the support of an outstanding syndicate of investors, Assent has a unique opportunity to become the global leader in the compliance automation market. “

Global supply chains are complex. Companies are often required, by law, to survey their supply chains to ensure materials are sourced ethically, workers are treated fairly, products are safe and their environmental impact is limited. Assent currently works with over 30 percent of S&P 500 product companies and a network of over 300,000 supplier companies globally to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Assent Compliance helps clients incorporate best practices into their compliance programs and provides them with the tools to survey their supply chains efficiently, without incurring extravagant costs. Assent Compliance also provides educational materials for companies and suppliers to stay ahead of the regulatory curve through an internally-developed, integrated learning management system.

In the midst of an evolving global regulatory landscape, companies turn to Assent Compliance to fulfill an integral role in the compliance process.

About Assent Compliance:

Assent Compliance, founded in 2005, enables companies to manage and streamline their supply chain and product compliance efforts to ensure their products meet the standards of various market access regulations. Assent currently works with over 30 percent of S&P 500 product companies and thousands of small and medium-size businesses globally.

About Volition Capital:

Volition Capital is a growth equity firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Volition team principally invests in high growth, founder-owned companies across different technology sectors. Volition Capital currently manages a portfolio of 17 market leading companies.