$100M To Boast About | The Sunday Briefing
"We're getting companies larger refunds, faster, [and] at a lower audit grip from the government." - Boast.ai co-founder Lloyed Lobo
Good afternoon, and welcome to the hundreds of new Vancouver Tech Journal subscribers reading this week. Today’s Sunday Briefing is just around 1,700 words, a 6-minute read. Enjoy.
💰 Boast.ai, a financing platform that makes it easier for companies to access R&D tax credits, announced a $100 million credit facility from Brevet Capital.
Boast.ai helps businesses receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in R&D tax credits from the government using AI and an in-house team of experts. Boast’s co-founder Lloyed Lobo explains the problem his company solves like this:
Each year the US and Canadian governments provide more than $15 Billion in R&D Tax Credits to fund businesses, but the application process is cumbersome, prone to frustrating audits, and receiving the money can take up to 16 months as you need to wait for tax filing season and government processing times.
Now, instead of waiting a year to receive the R&D tax credit refunds from the government, this new credit facility will enable Boast’s clients to not just work with the firm to prepare their tax credit claims but also get advanced funding on a monthly basis throughout the year to fuel their growth.
Money bags: This new financing is in addition to Boast’s $30M Series A led by Radian Capital that was announced December 10, 2020.
💬 13 thoughts about Shopify’s operations, Scotiabank’s Vancouver investing plans, supercluster funding and more.
Last week, Vancouver Tech Journal introduced a new column, 13 thoughts, as a platform to share interesting stories and bits of information that don’t warrant their own full article but deserve more than a tweet. Gossip, inside baseball, babble… call it what want, but don’t pretend you’re not interested.
Read the first of this new series → “Last May when Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke tweeted…”
⏩ Quick Takes
As part of a successful embrace of remote work, Vancouver animation studio Mainframe is looking to hire more than 150 people.
A new report from the Fraser Institute suggests high tax rates and housing costs make B.C. less attractive for tech industry growth and success.
“For every Shopify—which came to Vancouver and leased a brand new office, only to pledge that remote work is the future—there’s an Amazon, which hopes to eventually house 8,000 people between two downtown offices.”
Politicians and stakeholders believe the new, dedicated B.C. regional development agency will bring a bigger focus to the tech sector—and can support B.C.’s resource economies.
📈 Pulse check: The health and biotech news keeping hearts racing.
Vancouver’s Acuitas Therapeutics has just 30 employees and operates in a building without any signage. And yet, as The Washington Post reports, the global spotlight is now on one of Acuitas’ discoveries: “A proprietary molecule called an ionizable cationic lipid is a crucial piece of the mRNA vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, and it is in urgent demand for production of billions of vaccine doses worldwide.”
Telehealth company CloudMD announced plans to acquire VisionPros, a digital eyewear platform. “This is a significant acquisition for our business, which not only adds meaningful high margin revenue, but also provides us with an established e-commerce platform and almost 1 million customer accounts,” said Dr. Essam Hamza, CEO of CloudMD.
Canada is home to significant scientific expertise and research tackling COVID-19, but one expert says long-standing hurdles make it difficult for the country to punch above its weight. UBC’s Dr. Srinivas Murthy, who also co-chairs the WHO’s COVID-19 clinical characterization and management committee, believes Canada needs greater integration between health care and research.
🏦 Banknotes: Financial news to know.
The B.C. government’s business recovery grant provides non-repayable grants of up to $30,000 for struggling businesses or up to $45,000 for tourism operators. But many businesses are struggling to qualify, and as of last Tuesday, only $19 million of the $300 million earmarked for the grant program has been approved for businesses.
Victory Square Technologies agreed to sell key intellectual property to Cloud Nine Education Group. The sale included key assets including Limitless Crypto, a user-based desktop cryptocurrency miner, in-home cryptocurrency mining machine MicroBlock Miner and the X2Crypto Wallet for desktop and mobile banking services.
📝 Views from the 604: The week’s sharpest ideas and opinions.
Marlon Thompson, CEO of Future Capital, shared why black history month matters to him. “For me, this month provides an opportunity to celebrate the capacity of Black people to overcome struggle,” he writes.
Mitchell Demeter, president of Netcoins, a cryptocurrency trading platform, believes Tesla’s move into Bitcoin could have ripple effects on Vancouver’s startup community. “Vancouver is a hotspot for fintech and as venture capitalists and investors look to make bets in the space, more innovation and ventures will follow,” he writes.
Shafin Diamond, CEO of Victory Square Technologies, shared VST’s Future Forecast: What To Expect From The Next Decade Of Innovation. “As all-consuming as the present moment may seem, our eyes are fixed firmly on what’s next,” he writes “With that in mind, here are the trends and technologies that will shape the world and guide our investments over the coming decade.
Christine Duhaime, a financial crime expert with Fusion Intelligence, believes security fraudsters eroding the integrity of B.C.’s investment market. “Canada has the dubious distinction of being the world leader in securities fraud involving pump-and-dump schemes of micro-capitalized companies,” she writes.
👩🏻💼 Personnel issues: People going places.
ThoughtExchange, the fast-growing enterprise crowdsourcing software company, announced Lauren Kelly (ex- Dell and Pepsico) as their new chief marketing officer. Last year, the company closed a $34M round Series B.
“Everything an organization needs to know about their people, we touch it,” says Visier CEO Ryan Wong. “Whether it’s recruiting, whether it’s performance management—in short, the whole life cycle of an employee in that organization—Visier will provide you that insight.” The Vancouver company is a pioneer in the workforce analytics niche.
HR Tech Group announced the launch of Tech Talent North, a national people and culture conference taking place May 12 - 13, 2021.
💼 Pole positions: Tech jobs that matter.
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📁 Need tech news briefings delivered daily?
Vancouver Tech Journal is testing a Morning Report. It includes everything in the Sunday Briefing and more—delivered to your inbox daily at 6:00am from Tuesday to Friday. For anyone who relies on the most up-to-date tech news to fuel their workday, deal flow and decision making, the Morning Report is for you. Join the waitlist to be considered for our ongoing beta test.
💚 Cleantech: Good news for the planet.
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre announced the winners of the 2021 BC Cleantech Awards at a virtual awards ceremony. Winners in the individual and company categories included Elicia Maine, Julie Angus and Carol Wu, as well as Clir Renewables, Simon Fraser University, and Evok Innovations.
A special report in the National Observer: Cleantech: B.C.’s $100-billion opportunity. “So what does B.C.need to be competitive?” asks former Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer.
😎 Pretty cool: What else is new and novel.
Vancouver app Rootd was named dropped in a New York Times article, The Rise of the Wellness App. “Mindfulness apps like Calm, Headspace, Fabulous, Rootd and Liberate all surged over the past year, downloaded by people in search of reprieve from the crushing anxiety of the virus,” wrote reporter Jenna Wortham.
Kitchener’s Communitech announced 10 founders selected to the Communitech Fierce Founders Uplift program, designed to help underrepresented and minority women grow their startups or small businesses. Vancouver startups accepted include SetEasy, a tool to support film and TV set prep, and Flik, a community to connect female founders.
Vancouver supplements company No Days Wasted has experienced booming demand online since its inception, and successfully landed a deal with the cofounder of Clearbanc, Michele Romanow, on Dragon’s Den last year. Founder Nishal Kumar, a former product specialist at Tesla, launched the business to help prevent hangovers and other negative side effects of drinking alcohol, starting with a line of DHM Detox products.
📅 Mark your calendar to match ours.
This Tuesday (February 23), on Vancouver Tech Morning Coffee, our weekly Clubhouse show, we welcome special guest Lloyed Lobo, co-founder and president of Boast.ai, which, as noted above, recently announced $100M in financing.
Deloitte Global TMT Predictions 2021: Later on February 23, VEF invite you to join them and Deloitte’s Duncan Stewart, co-author of the Deloitte Global TMT Predictions annual report, as he provides an in-depth look at the trends set to affect and disrupt your business.
‼️ Double take: In case you missed these stories.
⌛ That’s it. Until next week…
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