Tag: Series B

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.”

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
May

Q4 Closes $22M Series B Financing to Fuel Product and Sales Expansion

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TORONTO, ON – May 17, 2016 – Q4 Inc., a global leader in SaaS investor relations and capital market solutions, announced today the closing of a $22 million Series B financing, bringing the Company’s total amount raised to $30 million.

This round was led by OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund (OTEAF), Information Venture Partners, and HarbourVest Partners along with Emerillon Capital, and Kensington Capital Partners. Series A investors Plaza Ventures and Accomplice also participated. The funding will go towards expanding the Company’s engineering, sales and marketing teams.

“We are delighted to lead this round,” said Richard Black, General Partner at the OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund. “Our investment in Q4 reflects our belief in the tremendous market potential for their technology and management’s ability to execute on their vision. With over 600 top tier customers Q4 has demonstrated their ability to deliver value to the most demanding companies on a consistent basis. We are very excited about their growth prospects in the future.”

Q4 has been steadily expanding their investor relations platform since 2013, which now includes investor websites, earnings webcasting, market intelligence and investor CRM suite. The Company is focused on applying artificial intelligent methods such as machine learning and natural language processing to provide real-time insights on institutional trading, market sentiment, volatility and investor activism.

“Over the last 10 years, the market has become more complex and opaque than ever before. Alternative trading systems, dark pools and high frequency trading have created a challenging environment, making it almost impossible for corporates and investors to understand what is happening within the global financial markets,” said Darrell Heaps, CEO of Q4 Inc. “Our products bring simplicity to this problem and help companies better understand the market, manage investor engagement and communicate with the street. We are at the early stages of our vision and look forward to using these funds to continue expanding our platform and analytics for corporate and institutional clients.”

“There has been very limited innovation in investor relations technology.  Q4 is at the forefront of adopting and developing new technologies, changing the user experience for its communications customers and redefining intelligence methodologies to provide better insights to IROs, CFOs and CEOs,” said Robert Antoniades Co-Founder and General Partner of Information Venture Partners.

2015 was a watershed year for Q4, generating record client & ARR growth and executing on Company’s product suite expansion. Launching in June, the new Q4 desktop will be the investor relations industry’s most integrated market intelligence, investor CRM, website and webcasting platform on the market. Q4 plans to unveil this new product at the National Investor Relations Institute’s annual conference in San Diego, June 4-8, 2016.

“As we expand our presence in Canada, HarbourVest is excited to partner with Q4 in this next stage of its growth path,” commented David Zug, Vice-President, HarbourVest Partners. “This dynamic team and technology are poised to continue to transform the way public companies engage their shareholders.”

“We are excited to partner with Q4 at this critical inflection point in its growth,” said Raghu Bharat, Investment Manager at Emerillon Capital. “As demonstrated by their remarkable growth, this round of funding will help Q4 capitalize on global demand for their solutions, and accelerate the company’s pace of product innovation.”

Q4 has over 150 employees in offices in Toronto, Chicago and New York.

About Q4 Inc.
Q4 is a global leader in communication and intelligence solutions to the IR market. With hundreds of Fortune 1000 brands using Q4 website, webcasting, analytics and advisory solutions, we have created a full service platform that enables public companies to better connect with their investors and understand the capital markets. Visit www.q4inc.com to learn more.