Tech that touches you (in a not weird way)
Meet five Vancouver wearables companies that are making waves. Welcome to the Sunday Briefing.
Good morning everyone. If this newsletter existed a decade ago, this week I’d be writing about Summify, the Vancouver-founded social news aggregator. On January 19, 2012, it was acquired and shutdown by Twitter. Backed by Boris Wertz and Stewart Butterfield, among others, Summify was started by Romanian web developers Mircea Paşoi and Cristian Strat. After the acquisition, they both moved to San Francisco and worked at Twitter and other startups (including crypto giant Coinbase). Strat is now CEO of DeFi startup Runloop. Paşoi is an engineering manager at Clubhouse. “William, why are you telling us this story?” you ask. 1) I dunno, it’s just interesting! 2) It’s a reminder that Vancouver has always attracted and nurtured great technical talent. I think the difference now is the ecosystem has matured to a point where it’s finally keeping it.
The Index: 5 Vancouver wearables companies that are making waves
As technology increasingly becomes more embedded into our daily lives, it only makes sense that wearable devices would be all the rage. But these innovations aren’t exactly sure-fire customer hits—or at least they haven’t been in recent memory. For every Fitbit or Apple Watch there’s a Google Glass or a QR Tie that never caught on. And yes, the QR Tie was an actual thing.
But there are a few undaunted Vancouver companies that have been able to find success in the wearables space. In this feature, senior editor Nathan Caddell checks in with some of them. » Start reading.
As Ideon Technologies goes underground, its profile has never been higher
The Richmond company’s x-ray technology—which recently attracted $3.7 million in funding from the Digital Technology Supercluster—has the potential to save the world some much-needed energy. » Start reading.
NPower Canada’s BC expansion gets underserved youth into tech careers
CEO Julia Blackburn reflects on her company’s newest cohort while participant Pallavi Garg shares her experience. » Start reading.
🤝 Funding and deals
Ionomr raised a $15M Series A funding round led by Shell Ventures and Finindus. It's the latest milestone for the World Economic Forum top 100 Technology Pioneer, which is developing and manufacturing cutting-edge polymer and membrane technology. » Get the full story.
Project collaboration platform Matidor raised $1.85M seed round. The round was led by New York’s Space Capital, Houston’s Cathexis Ventures and Boston’s Equal Opportunity Ventures. » Get the full story.
Tipalti, a fintech unicorn valued at USD $8.3 billion, leased 27,000 square feet within the Bentall One tower at 505 Burrard St. according to real estate firm CBRE. » BIV.
Monos Travel, an upstart suitcase brand, has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by venn growth partners with participation by Strand Equity. » Continue.
East Side Games Group, a Vancouver free-to-play mobile game group, acquired all of N3TWORK Inc.’s interest in Funko Pop! Blitz mobile game. » Continue.
INEO Tech Corp., a Surrey-based digital advertising and analytics solution for retailers, acquired Securitytags.com and opened a Vancouver, Washington warehouse to drive a US eCommerce expansion. » Continue.
Sierra Wireless, an IoT solutions giant, received a $60 million debt facility from CIBC and BDC. » Continue.
Creative Energy, which manages district energy systems, announced a partnership with Thompson Rivers University to design, build, own and operate a low-carbon on-campus district energy system in Kamloops. » Continue.
Acetech Member Highlight: Ideon Technologies
Ideon is a pioneer in the application of cosmic-ray muon tomography and has developed a discovery platform that integrates proprietary detectors, imaging systems, inversion technologies, and artificial intelligence to provide x-ray-like visibility up to 1 km beneath the Earth’s surface. By detecting subsurface muons and transforming the data into geophysical surveys and 3D density maps, Ideon helps geologists identify new mineral and metal deposits with precision and confidence. They drill less and discover more, reducing cost and risk, saving time, and minimizing environmental impact.
* Partner Message
🗞️ In other news…
Video-dating app Snack was spotlighted in Fast Company for its new no-ghosting feature and other upgrades. » Continue.
Steve Lowry, executive director of AInBC, has joined Silicon Valley Bank as vice president of technology banking, based in Vancouver. » Read more.
NBA superstar Kevin Durant features in an NBA Top Shot ad from NFT pioneer Dapper Labs. » Watch.
Loba has created a “smart pillbox that combines aesthetics and functionality.” » MobileSyrup.
EarthDaily Analytics, which was spun out of UrtheCast in April 2021, has launched an automated SaaS data processing platform and other products. » Geospatial World.
Trulioo, an identity and security tech unicorn, appointed Michael Ramsbacker as chief product officer. » Information Age.
HR Tech Group, which brings together people and culture professionals in the tech industry, announced a re-branding today and is now calling itself the Tech and People Network (TAP Network). » Continue.
Eva Taylor, director of corporate social responsibility at Hootsuite, was spotlighted on WeAreTechWomen. » Continue.
Microsoft’s US$68B acquisition of Activision Blizzard: What it means for Vancouver. » Continue.
addy, a real estate tech startup, featured in Capital Daily: Real estate crowd investment comes to the Capital Region District
SFU announced that renowned neuroscientist Randy McIntosh will lead its new Institute for Neuroscience and Neurotechnology (INN), based at the Burnaby campus. » Continue.
Cymax Group Technologies announced the appointment of Shouvik Roy as its new chief financial officer. » Continue.
Dooly, a sales enablement platform, is likely to become a future unicorn, according to Kirby Winfield, founding general partner of Ascend. » Continue.
Thompson Rivers University professor Dr. Michael Mehta is using virtual reality headsets to immerse students in course material. » Castanet.
Jobs at MacroHealth
MacroHealth—which closed a $54M Series A last year—is building the most advanced and trusted technology and analytics platform that connects healthcare payers with provider networks. They are solving complex problems and building a micro-services-based SaaS platform — some of them using Scala, React and Mongo.
💡 Ideas and insights
Sahar Kanani, senior director of program management, MacroHealth, writing in Vancouver Tech Journal: Record immigration to Canada presents a win-win opportunity for talent-seeking tech companies
Karn Manhas, founder of Terramera, writing on the World Economic Forum blog: 3 areas of progress on climate change can help combat anxiety
Samir Javer, product manager at Grammarly, writing on Medium: Analyzing sports teams like SaaS companies
Yuri Fulmer, CEO of Fulmer & Company, a private equity and VC firm, writing on his company’s blog: Trends we’re thinking about for the year ahead
Sean O’Connor and Kyle Scott, managing directors of Conexus Venture Capital & Emmertech, writing in The Globe & Mail: Canada’s climate opportunity is where agtech and cleantech meet
Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., writing in Business in Vancouver: Return to pre-pandemic office life increasingly unlikely for B.C.
Zac Cohen, chief operating officer at Trulioo, writing in ToolBox: How Digital Identities Add a Layer of Trust to the Internet
Mike Walkinshaw and Mark Bakker from TIMIA Capital joined The New Skool podcast to discuss their mission to reimagine venture capital funding for SaaS founders through private credit. » Listen.