Three comma club
"Can't wait to paint the next Picasso on the combined forces of Galvanize and Diligent employees, customers and partners." - Laurie Schultz, CEO of Galvanize
Good afternoon and welcome to the new Vancouver Tech Journal subscribers reading this week. Today’s Sunday Briefing, February’s last (!), is 1,828 words, a 6-minute read. Enjoy.
🌐 Galvanize, a Vancouver company that specializes in risk and compliance software, was acquired by Diligent, a NY-based governance software firm, in a deal worth $1 billion.
“Friends, today we announced that Galvanize will become part of the Diligent family,” said Galvanize CEO Laurie Schulz on LinkedIn. “The impact of which will be an immediate, material and meaningful redefinition of the [governance, risk management, and compliance] category as we know it.”
Galvanize is a leader in AI-powered anti-fraud and risk-management software to corporations. The firm has 6,000 customers in 130 countries and is one of B.C.’s most successful companies led by a woman.
Big deal: Through the transaction, Diligent becomes the largest provider of software for tracking governance, risk and compliance needs by corporations.
💘 “Tinder is your parents' dating app.” Kimberly Kaplan, an early employee and former executive at Vancouver’s Plenty of Fish, launched Snack, a video first dating app.
Money in the bank: The company, which has 10 employees so far, has raised $3.5 million from Kindred Ventures, Coelius Capital, Golden Ventures, Garage Capital, Panache Ventures and N49P.
Snack was inspired by the evolution across social media to a video-first format. It moves away from the swipe in favour of a TikTok-style interface where people can engage with each other's content via a stream.
Kaplan, who was part of the executive team at Plentyoffish, which sold to Match Group in 2015 for $575 million, will be joining the Vancouver Tech Journal’s weekly Clubhouse show this Tuesday, March 2 at 9am PST.
⏩ Quick Takes
Hype machine: Slate covers what they call the “NBA Top Shot bubble” spurred by Vancouver’s Dapper Labs, and is asking why fans are paying six figures to “buy” highlight clips they could watch for free.
Gamechangers: Report on Business Magazine selected 50 entrepreneurs, academics and executives who are striving to find a better way of doing things, and Vancouver’s Gareth Brown (Clir Renewables), Ben Britton (Ionomr Innovations), and Ravina Anand (FLIK) made the list.
The TSX Venture Exchange announced the 2021 Venture 50—and the top-performing listed companies from five industry sectors all have offices or headquarters in Vancouver.
Fintech Tipalti, which raised US$76 million in 2019, is planning to hire 50-60 workers in Vancouver on top of about 300 new workers across its global offices.
📈 Pulse check: The health and biotech news keeping hearts racing.
London Drugs partnered with Medimap to leverage a virtual care service that connects patients across B.C. with an available walk-in clinic doctor over secure video call. “The Telemedicine Walk-In service allows patients to see a physician, consult with a pharmacist, get their prescription and receive follow-up care all in one place,” said Chris Chiew, London Drugs General Manager, Pharmacy.
🏦 Banknotes: Financial news to know.
Startup DataJoy announced a $6 million seed round led by Foundation Capital. The company will eventually have a presence in Vancouver whenever offices start to open, according to Techcrunch.
Innovate BC announced $900,000 awarded for three BC research projects. The funding, through Innovate BC’s Ignite program, accelerates the commercialization of projects in cleantech, mining and biotech.
Vancouver’s ZenHub, which provides GitHub-embedded project management and collaboration software, raised $5.9 million CAD in seed financing led by BDC Capital and Ripple Ventures.
Zinc8, a Vancouver clean-energy startup developing a zinc-based hybrid flow battery for large-scale electricity storage has secured $15 million in equity financing. “The company plans to use the investment for further research and development needed to commercialize the company’s patented zinc air battery system,” reports Business in Vancouver.
Capital accumulated during the pandemic primes companies to be bought or sold this year says M&A expert David Raffa. “If you’re a PE fund, you have to move money to make money. You can’t just sit [on] it. It’s your job to place funds and that includes acquiring companies,” he says.
B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Innovate BC launched a $325,000 BC Aquaculture Innovation Awards.
📝 Views from the 604: The week’s sharpest ideas and opinions.
AbCellera founder Carl Hansen calls for lower taxes on innovation. “Here in Canada, and in B.C. in particular, the way that we tax revenues from innovation, from intellectual property that was developed here in Canada, and revenues that have come from outside the country, is not competitive as compared to other jurisdictions,” he told Wendy Hurlburt, president and CEO of LifeSciences BC.
Canada must ‘adjust its sails’ to be a world-leader in innovation, writes Digital Technology Supercluster co-founder Bill Tam and Communitech CEO Iain Klugman. “As the federal government develops its fiscal blueprint for the coming year and beyond, it is imperative that digital innovation be at core of its economic recovery program, including measures to help Canadian businesses better exploit intellectual property, additional investments in skills development and tax incentives to further technology adoption,” they write.
KPMG partner David Guthrie believes the potential of agtech is enormous in B.C., which is home to more than 150 agtech companies. In B.C., “where agriculture is focused on greenhouses, dairy, poultry, berries and other crops, farmers and producers have an opportunity to use ag-tech to become more sustainable, respond to labour shortages, and create a safer, more-transparent food supply,” he writes.
Ayelen Osorio, a writer with Vancouver’s Netcoins, broke down how bitcoin is created. “How is it possible that no one creates Bitcoin yet somehow it magically appears? The more people learn about Bitcoin the more baffling it sounds,” she begins.
👩🏻💼 Personnel issues: People going places.
After close to ten years with Microsoft, Edoardo De Martin, the well-known GM of the corporation’s Vancouver office, announced on LinkedIn he’s leaving the company. “I’ll talk about what comes next for me very soon,” he wrote. “But today is about reflecting on this last nine and a half years at Microsoft and the people that have inspired me along the way.”
BBTV has brought on a new VP of corporate development, investment banker Blake Corbet, who came from PI Financial. “BBTV has developed a deep pipeline of potential accretive acquisitions that could strategically support organic business growth, especially across the company’s higher-margin Plus Solutions,” said BBTV CEO Shahrzad Rafati.
Abcellera, which recently raised $555.5 million in an IPO, is on a hiring spree. They’re hiring more than 70 positions in Vancouver right now as part of a plan to invest in people and technology at their Olympic Village headquarters. “We’re really aiming to redefine the scale, scope, and speed of how antibody drugs are discovered,” Chief Operating Officer Veronique Lecault told Daily Hive.
Victory Square Technologies Inc portfolio company GameOn Entertainment Technologies welcomed former Australian and Premier League soccer star Tim Cahill as an advisor. Cahill is the all-time leading scorer for the Australian men’s national soccer team and played for more than two decades for Millwall, Everton, and the New York Red Bulls.
💼 Pole positions: Tech jobs that matter.
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😎 Pretty cool: What else is new and novel.
Ethos Lab aims to create a culture shift in STEM by offering Black youth, teenaged girls and others 13-18 access to mentors who can teach emerging technologies. “I saw the emergency that was this under-representation of Black youth in STEM spaces when I started looking for programming for my daughter,” said Anthonia Ogundele, the project’s founder. “I wanted to address that gap by looking at how we might leverage culture as a vehicle to access STEM education.”
FORM lets even swimmers track their athletic stats—in real-time. FORM closed $12 million in Series A funding last April, and the Vancouver-designed specs display metrics like distance, pace and calories burned.
Jake King, CEO of enterprise security startup Cmd, which raised $19 million from GV in 2019, expects his 48-employee company to expand by “orders of magnitude.” He believes that post-COVID, the security industry will see a resurgence as organizations slowly uncover breaches related to remote work.
Building the BC Innovation Ecosystem—an interview with Angie Schick from New Ventures BC. “There is a lot of inspiration one gets from working with early-stage entrepreneurs because they have this type of energy that is hard to replicate,” she said to ibbka, a growth platform.
📅 Mark your calendar to match ours.
This Tuesday (March 2), on Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee, our weekly Clubhouse show, we welcome special guest Kim Kaplan, CEO of Snack, which, as noted above, recently launched with $3.5 million in financing.
‼️ Double take: In case you missed these stories.
⌛ That’s it. Until next week…
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