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MaRS Technology Update: Canadian unicorn herds continue to grow




Last year was a very good year for many tech executives.

A record number of privately held startups (959 companies worldwide) have reached their respected unicorn status. This means that their company has reached a $ 1 billion valuation.

According to a new report from CB Insights, this is an increase of 69% over the previous year. And the Canadian herd is also growing steadily. It’s been less than two weeks until 2022, but new unicorns are already emerging on the market. Assent Compliance, Ottawa’s supply chain management software maker, has announced a $ 350 million US funding round led by Vista Equity Partners Management LLC. “This is one of the biggest salary increases in the history of Canadian software companies,” the company said in a release.

Why are there so many unicorns? Foreign funding, especially from the south of the border, plays a major role at a very early stage, according to experts. “Foreign funders have a larger capital pool, better relationships with future senior employees, and arguably a better network,” said the founder of the Narwhal Project, an organization that supports emerging technology companies. Charles Plant says.

He said that companies funded by American investors “get more money faster, grow faster, get more subsequent money, and thus quickly advance to unicorn status. Will be done. ”

Evidence: TCV is a $ 476 million Series D round of identity technology startup Trulioo, as some of 2021’s biggest deals were in Softbank’s $ 268 million round of online financial firm Clearco. We received a great deal of support from US investors, even investing in. In fact, the vast majority of Canadian unicorns belong to the Internet software and services industries such as PointClickCare, Figment and Visier.

Will this pace continue in 2022? In a nutshell, that’s right. Chris Albinson, CEO of Communitech, a waterloo-based business accelerator, said: Fair soon. ”

However, in 2022, Canadian unicorns may emerge from another sector. The Narwhal project closely tracks Canada’s clean technology industry and is particularly interested in five companies that may soon gain magical status.

A Toronto company that helps remote areas fill the digital divide

Broadband access remains a major issue in many parts of the country. But remote Canadians are now able to do what most of us take for granted, such as streaming movies and attending zoom conferences.

Toronto-based startup Ecopia AI has received a contract from the Government of Canada to provide next-generation mapping data, a key step in deploying high-speed Internet.

Using artificial intelligence, machine learning, satellite imagery, and aerial images, Ecopia AI’s high-resolution maps include many locations in remote and indigenous communities that require broadband Internet access and can be serviced over broadband. , Identify buildings throughout rural Canada.

How big is this? Despite large public and private investments, more than half of local communities do not have access to broadband internet.

How do they fix it? This is a two-step process. As Ecopia co-founder and president Jon Lipinski says, “the current map is too rough to pinpoint broadband services / unserviced locations by building,” so stakeholders first have a coverage gap. You need to pinpoint where it is. Once that’s done, you can install an infrastructure that is costly to both deploy and maintain.

Next Steps: The map is currently being created and will be delivered in March 2022. Once completed, the mapping data will be used by the Government of Canada and other stakeholders in the telecommunications industry to plan and deploy the infrastructure needed to fill the digital division. ..

Canadian clean tech company cleans up in world rankings

For the past five years, the Canadian technology community has cleaned up with the annual Global Cleantech 100, the annual ranking of the world’s top 100 cleantech ventures addressing the most pressing environmental issues on the planet. This year is no exception, with 13 Canadian companies on the list.

Richard Youngman, CEO of the Clean Tech Group, said:

What solution are we talking about? This year’s Canadian start-up and scale-up cohort is powering heavy trucks, trapping CO2 in concrete, exploring fusion energy and using artificial intelligence software to optimize water treatment facilities.

Why is this list important? Governments, businesses and communities are all ambitious in combating climate change. But while the pledge is impressive, implementing these plans requires a set of resources, focus, and the right tools. It is becoming increasingly clear that Canadian technology can play an important role in supporting these climate program efforts. Richard Youngman, CEO of the Clean Tech Group, needs to pay attention to these companies as “these companies are most likely to have a significant impact in the next 5 to 10 years.”

Next Steps: Many of the Canadian startups on the Cleantech 100 list are expanding their pilot projects abroad to secure global clients. Over the next decade, industry leaders say Canadian companies need to keep an eye on the products that emerge in their backyards and invest in and adopt innovative technologies to help scale these solutions. I’m giving you advice. Investment and customers are key.

In other news

Acuitas Therapeutics-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, a biotechnology company responsible for the key elements of Pfizer, has signed a contract with Pfizer. The agreement will allow Acuitas to work closely with Pfizer to develop new vaccines and treatments. GE Digital, General Electric’s software division, has acquired Toronto-based software engineering company Opus One Solutions. This helps utilities adapt their energy grids to better utilize renewable electricity. The acquisition, announced by the company, reinforces GE Digital’s commitment to helping customers move to a sustainable grid. Toronto-based Hydrostor has developed a power storage project and secured a US $ 250 million investment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management. With deeper pockets, Hydrostor will spend its capital on the development and construction of ongoing projects in Australia and California.

Amanda Whalen writes about MaRS technology. Toronto Star’s parent company, Torstar, has partnered with MaRS to highlight the innovation of Canadian companies.

Disclaimer This content was created as part of a partnership and may not meet the standards of impartial or independent journalism.




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