With six investments into Montreal-based AI companies alone, this week was a successful one in the Canadian startup scene. Here are some of the top funding stories you may have missed this week.
This week, the Government of Canada invested in six Montreal-based AI companies, totalling nearly CAD $6.3 million (USD $4.7 million) in funding coming form the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED).
Element AI, a provider of software to help companies improve their processes to become more secure and more agile, received $5 million of the investment in the form of a repayable contribution.
“This investment from the Quebec Economic Development Program demonstrates yet again Canada’s commendable leadership in AI, which has permitted Canadian companies like Element AI to shine,” said Anne Martel, co-founder of Element AI. “This investment will help accelerate the company’s global expansion, create jobs, and expand our innovation infrastructure.”
The remaining $1.3 million will go towards supporting the innovations of five other AI companies, Imagia, Keatext Inc., ARA Robotics Inc., C2RO Cloud Robotics Inc., and Roof Ai.
- Imagia: “We are fortunate to be moving into the AI city of Montréal. This will continue to foster our relationships with AI institutes, such as Mila and IVADO, and strengthen a healthcare AI ecosystem that includes other key institutes like VEctor & AMII,” said Shelley Epstein, VP of corporate and public affairs at Imagia. “The support provided will accelerate innovative discoveries for pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostic companies to make personalized medicine accessible for all patients.”
- Keatext: “Building a business is an ongoing challenge. It’s a journey that starts with finding the solution to a problem in the market and then coming up with ways of exposing that solution to clients,” said Narjès Boufaden, president and CEO of Keatext. “Along the way, it involves obtaining all the help you can in order to get there. Organizations like CED are valuable resources that make that journey shorter.”
- ARA Robotics: “CED’s support is enabling us to go ahead with our marketing projects in Canada and the United States. With CED’s assistance, we were able to support our growth and position ourselves in new markets outside Quebec,” said Pascal Chiva-Bernard, president and CEO of ARA Robotics.
- C2RO Cloud Robotics: “C2RO’s growth strategy is ambitious: we are commercializing our real-time machine intelligence solution globally to enhance the quality of everyday experiences with artificial intelligence,” said Riccardo Badalone, CEO of C2RO Cloud Robotics. “CED’s financial assistance will help boost our ability to penetrate global markets and extend the reach of C2RO’s game-changing Engage platform.”
- Roof Ai: “The Quebec Economic Development Program helped us penetrate the U.S. market faster and fuel our growth. Using the funding provided by the program, we were able to secure some of the biggest real estate companies in the United States,” said Pierre Sabbagh, president of Roof Ai.
Toronto technology startup, Chainvu, has closed a CAD $2.6 million (USD $2 million) seed funding round led by Leonite Capital. Chainvu is a cloud-based logistics platform, providing companies with location monitoring and quality product shipment.
“As global logistics rapidly evolves with automated vehicles, artificial intelligence and blockchain, Chainvu provides essential capabilities in harnessing the power of those technologies for immediate benefits and return on investment,” said Bob Burrows, Founder and CEO of Chainvu. “We have the technology and early services in hand, as well as customer engagement. With Leonite’s investment, we are expanding our hiring, product development and sales efforts and accelerating our market penetration.”
BIOS, a Cambridge, U.K. neural engineering company raised CAD $6 million (USD $4.5 million) in seed funding led by Real Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, and Ariel Poler. The company is opening a new research and development office in Montreal, which will be its first outside of the UK. The research and development that BIOS has done led to the creation of a Prosthetic Interface Device (PID) that enables prostheses to connect directly to the nervous system of an amputee.