Tech that gives everyone a chance to invest in real estate? | The Sunday Briefing

“The second half of 2020… demonstrated a real resiliency in the venture capital market." - CVCA chief executive Kim Furlong.

Good afternoon everyone. Congratulations, you’ve officially made it 100 days in to 2021. Among many compelling stories this week, I’m particularly excited about three. There are 12 Vancouver venture capital firms that have well-over $2 billion in assets under management. There’s the local seed investor with a stake in Robinhood, the stock trading and investing app worth $40 billion. And there’s Tasktop, a Vancouver software firm that raised $126 million last week and counts T-Mobile and BMW as customers. Keep reading to learn more.

If this is your first Sunday Briefing, welcome. Make sure to stay engaged all week by connecting with us on TwitterLinkedIn and the Vancouver Tech club on the Clubhouse iOS app. If you’re not already on Clubhouse but want to be, please get in touch for an invitation.

Trust us, you don’t want to miss this week’s conversation with Stephen Jagger, the co-founder of addy, a tech company working to give everyone a chance to invest in real estate. Join our weekly show, Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee, to hear from him on Tuesday at 9am PST.

By the way, today’s Briefing is 1,611 words, a 5 1/4-minute read. Enjoy!

-William (@notionport)


The Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association showcased 50 venture capital firms across the country, of which 12 have an office or presence in Vancouver and USD $2.2 billion in assets under management.

  • Vancouver Tech Journal highlighted the Vancouver funds and their areas of focus, indicating the amount of capital each fund has under management. Read our Cheatsheet to find out which of the Vancouver firms has the most AUM.

Vancouver's top seed investor, Dr. E. Bora Uygun, wrote an early cheque to Robinhood, now a $40 billion unicorn.

Vancouver tech firm Tasktop announced a CAD $126 million strategic investment from Sumeru Equity Partners (SEP), a technology investment firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area.


⏩ Quick Takes


🏦 Banknotes: Financial news to know.

  • Two Burnaby-based companies were awarded nearly $4 million in funding from B.C.’s Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund. Advanced Intelligent Systems is receiving $950,000, and Nano One is receiving $3,033,000. Read our Bulletin for details on their projects.

  • Fintech start-up MazumaGo raised over $800,000 led by Angel Investment Fund eFund, Mother Trucker Capital (Hyperwallet) and Ryan Holmes from Hootsuite. 

  • CubicFarm Systems, a local chain agricultural technology company, announced its raising $1.5 million USD from strategic investors Burnett Land & Livestock, Ltd. LLLP through a private placement. The Company intends to use the proceeds of the private placement to advance R&D for HydroGreen and for general working capital purposes.

  • NEXE Innovations, a local leader in plant-based compostable tech, released details of CAD $34.5 million bought deal led by Canaccord Genuity.

  • NexTech AR, which provides augmented reality solutions, closed a CAD $14 million bought deal public offering led by Research Capital Corporation.


📝 Views from the 604: The week’s sharpest ideas and opinions.

Miranda Lievers, co-founder and COO of Thinkific, believes We need to get beyond ‘lean in.’ Women shouldn’t have to fix the workplace themselves.

  • “Even seemingly minor adjustments such as gender-blind assignment reviews, scrubbing gendered language from job postings, involving female leaders in hiring processes, can ultimately make a big difference in the aggregate,” she writes in Fast Company.

Ryan Wong, CEO of workforce analytics company Visier, argues that You've Been Tracking Employee Productivity All Wrong.

  • “When workers know their keystrokes are being measured, for instance, they’re incentivized to produce busywork, which might have little commercial value to the business,” he writes in Entrepreneur.


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👨‍💼 Personnel issues: People going places.

  • CubicFarm Systems, a local chain agricultural technology company, announced the appointment of Thomas Liston as Vice President of Corporate Development, based in Toronto. In most companies, the corporate development function focuses on M&A, so this may be a clue into Cubic’s future approach to growing their business.

  • Innovate BC president and CEO will be featured in an upcoming book, The Courageous Move, which profiles successful Canadian Immigrants. The launch of The Courageous Move will coincide with North Star Success’ Professional Development Conference for Immigrants, featuring Gopal and the other awardees.

  • Matt Smith, who co-founded the software that turned into edtech startup Thinkific and then left to co-found Instagram marketing platform Later, has returned to Thinkific as chief strategy officer. Making the announcement on LinkedIn, he wrote, “Getting to come back to building something mission-driven that promises a real impact on the world of course creators is such an honor.”

  • Vancouver’s Trulioo, an identity verification startup announced the appointment of Garient Evans as its senior vice president of Identity Solutions. Evans will work to bolster the company’s ability to offer verification of 5 billion people and 330 million business entities throughout the globe.


💼 Pole positions: Tech jobs that matter.

Want to see your posting here? Get in touch: info@vantechjournal.com.


🌱 Cleantech: Good news for the planet.

  • Sales of zero-emission cars accounted for almost 10% of all car sales in B.C. in 2020—the highest electric vehicle uptake in North Americaaccording to Bruce Ralston, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. The Zero Emissions Vehicle report showed the most rebates were given to Tesla 3 base model owners, followed by Hyundai Kona, Toyota Prius Prime, Mitsubishi Outlander and Chevy Bolt.


📡 Radar: Startups and trends to watch out for.

  • “Because of COVID every company needs to be a tech company, even more so than before,” says Ilya Brotzky, CEO of Vanhack, a tech talent recruitment firm. “And so a lot more traditional companies are building software as a core product.” He believes this shift has driven a hiring surge, leading to a record week for his recruitment business and ‘crazy’ demand for talent which may strain the sector.

  • Victory Square Technologies investee Immersive Tech inked a letter of intent to sell its UNCONTAINED VR attraction to Autobahn Indoor Speedway. The company’s multiplayer VR solution provides an array of physical effects including motion floors, heat/cool, air blast effects, all-encompassing aromas and object interactions, all packaged as a cost-effective plug-and-play VR solution.

  • Loop Insights, which provides contactless AI-driven solutions to retailers, has followed companies like Cisco, T-Mobile and NEC to join the Sovrin Foundation, which is an open-source, open-standards technology platform for digital identity. Built on a public blockchain, the Sovrin Ledger protects personal information while giving control of personal data back to the individuals.

  • ParcelPal, which competes with Uber-owned PostMates in the goods delivery space, announced a deal with Bayshore Specialty Rx to provide same-day and next-day prescription delivery to different facilities in Vancouver. Growth potential: Bayshore has over 100 locations across the country, including 65 home care offices, 13 pharmacies and 90+ clinics with 13,500 staff members and 350,000 clients.


📅 Mark your calendar to match ours.


🔥 Past stories, still trending.


⌛ That’s it. Until next week…

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