It’s a huge responsibility to help feed those in need in Waterloo Region.
Last year, approximately four million pounds of food was distributed by the Food Bank of Waterloo Region through the Community Food Association Network, which consists of 100 community programs.
But even the Food Bank can use a little assistance when it comes to ensuring the needs of these programs and their participants are met.
Thanks to Capacity Canada’s new TechMatch program and the efforts of a team of volunteers from Manulife, the Food Bank now has the foundation to improve its day-to-day operations.
“They wanted a full evaluation of the current state of the systems they currently leverage and were open to new systems and technology solutions,” said Capacity Canada’s Bob Nieboer, a key facilitator of the program.
TechMatch connects technology professionals with non-profit organizations in a co-operative setting to develop new digital strategies.
This inaugural TechMatch team, which included Manulife and Food Bank staff members, met with Capacity Canada facilitators once a week over the course of four months. The program wrapped up in early January when a final report was presented to the Food Bank
“The Food Bank’s biggest issue was that they did not like their inventory system,” said Markus Bogad,
Eigen Innovations, an AI-based IoT software company, has received $800,000 in funding from the federal government’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The funding comes in the form of a conditionally repayable contribution of $708,067, and two non-repayable contributions of $50,000.
Eigen is expanding its operations in the US, and looking into new markets in Asia and Europe.
A portion of the funding is set to help with global expansion. Eigen is currently expanding its operations in the US, and also looking into new markets in Asia and Europe. According to ACOA, the company will use the $708,067 towards a marketing project, targeted towards those regions.
The money will also be used for hiring two senior positions. Part of $50,000 will be put aside for hiring a lead data scientist, and another $50,000 will also be used to hire a machine learning architect.
“Eigen is proud of its Atlantic roots and committed to growing and creating jobs here,” said Scott Everett, CEO and Co-founder of Eigen Innovations. “We are thrilled to partner with ACOA and look forward to adding to our team here in order to grow our business in North America and around the globe.”
Eigen, based in Fredericton, creates AI business solutions that help manufacturers refine their processes. InOctober, the company closed a $3.5 million round of equity financing, led by Globalive Technology. In 2016, Eigen also closed $1.4 million in equity financing.
The announcement was made today by Matt DeCourcey, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, who also represents the riding of Fredericton. The announcement was made on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and the minister responsible for ACOA.
In December, the ACOA invested $280,500 in Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s Scaleup Hub Cambridge program, which allows Atlantic Canada startups to expand in and around the Boston area. In August, ACOA also invested $300,404 into Venture for Canada, a startup dedicated to training youth to work at startups for a two-year period.
Featured image courtesy CNW Group/New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
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A recent report from the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) has outlined stats for the VC investment deals occurring in Q4 2018. A total of $1.3 billion was invested in more than 165 deals in the quarter, bringing the year-end VC investment total to $3.7 billion.
The report, titled VC & PE Canadian Market Overview, was conducted by the CVCA, and only included completed equity or quasi-equity venture capital deals. The study did not include project-based government funding, angel financing, and venture capital-backed acquisitions.
The total dollar amount of VC investments made in 2018 is comparatively similar to 2017. Last year’s total investments were only two percent lower than 2017, where a total of $3.8 billion was invested. For the first half of 2018, CVCA reported total VC investments of $1.7 billion across industries.
A similar PwC Canada MoneyTree report found that Canadian tech companies raised a record $4.6 billion in VC funding over 2018, compared to $3.4 billion in 2017.
According to CVCA, in 2018, the majority of VC deals occurred in Toronto. A total of 141 of the 165 deals happened with Toronto-based companies, representing $1.5 billion of all deals Canada-wide. This means Toronto companies received 41 percent of total dollars disbursed. Following close behind was Montreal, which received 24 percent of all dollars disbursed, with a total of 119 deals, making up $901 million.
The next closest contender was Vancouver, which saw an 11 percent share of VC funding; this included 84 deals occurring in the city, representing $441 million.
Tech wins top investments
There were fifteen ‘mega-deals’ (investments of $50 million or more) in 2018. This accounted for a 30 percent share of total dollars invested, down from the 39 percent share in 2017. The report also looked at VC activity by deal size. About seven out of 10 deals in 2018 were under $5 million, however, the average deal size was $6.1 million, a three percent decrease from last year.
Many of the top disclosed Canadian VC deals in 2018 occurred in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The largest deal, $161 million, was secured by Assent Compliance, a supply chain data management company based in Ottawa. Last October, BetaKit reported Assent’s $131 million Series C funding round, which came after a $40 million Series B in 2017.
The second largest deal was received by Montreal-based Hopper, a travel app. The company raised $129 millionin one deal, after raising $82 million for its Series C funding round. Clearbanc, which provides funding for entrepreneurs’ marketing activities, appeared twice on CVCA’s list of largest deals. The company raised $93 million in November and $67 million a month later.
Toronto’s Ritual was also on the list on largest deals made, securing a $90 million Series C, along with TouchBistro, which closed a $72 million Series D last year. Robo-advisor Wealthsimple raised a notable $65 million early in 2018, bringing the company’s total investments to $165 million.
Overall, ICT secured the most amount of VC funding, with more than three times than the number of deals made in the life science sector, the second most VC funded industry in 2018.
When VCs are investing
The report broke down the number and value of deals between seed, early stage, and later stage rounds. It found that the number of deals were fairly consistent across each funding stage, however, the most money was invested into later-stage rounds. About $1.8 billion was invested in later stages, with $1.5 billion was invested in early stages. Comparatively, only $303 million was invested in seed stages.
The number of rounds, as well as the size of the total rounds for VC firms, were also analyzed. Real Ventures was involved in the most rounds (59), which amounted to a total of $446 million. BDC Sector Funds, which includes BDC Healthcare Fund, BDC IT Venture Fund, and BDC ICE Fund, was involved in 30 rounds. The size of BDC’s rounds were the largest, however, at $533 million.
The CVCA report also looked at private equity investments in Canada. It found that the dollars invested tripled from Q3, hitting $6 billion in Q4. This brought the 2018 year-end total of private equity funding to $22.3 billion over 543 deals. The value of investments dropped 15 percent from 2017.
Read the full report here.
Featured image via Pixabay.