- TechTO Newsletter
- December 14, 2023: The ultimate employee wellness tool
December 14, 2023: The ultimate employee wellness tool
Take care of your teams with Workind, has fundraising returned for Canadian startups, and 9 steps to building a community
Profile: Take care of those who need it most with Workind
What is Workind?
Workind helps businesses take care of their employees through a flexible wellness and lifestyle benefits platform.
What was the insight and inspiration behind this idea?
We want to enable employees to define the life balance that suits them while making a positive impact in the community.
How has it been received?
At Workind, we believe that organizations can have a positive impact on employees and the community; therefore we accompany companies in a sustainable approach contributing to the well-being and work-life balance of their teams.
How did you know you were ready to be a Founder?
A graduate of the University of Ottawa, I am well versed in the business world and its challenges, having worked for over 15 years in marketing and communications at employers of choice such as Cossette, Yellow Pages and National Bank.
Who are the Canadian startups you admire most in your market?
Boite Pac - a community of companies redefining business success
Zeffy - zero-fee fundraising software for early-stage startups
Sampler - the ultimate product experience platform
Thriver - one platform to order delicious food for your teams from local caterers
What advice do you wish you had received when starting out?
Make sure you have enough funding before you start, and, please, find a tech co-founder!
Quick Take: The return of fundraising in Canada
image courtesy of ideogram.ai
Has fundraising returned for Canadian start-ups?
What is the news?
Over the last week, we have seen something we haven't seen since late 2021, an uptick in funding announcements including a couple of larger non-AI rounds.
In addition to EZee Assist and Koho who we covered over the last week, the following financings are a few that have been announced:
Toronto-based ContactMonkey announced a $55m USD Series A led by Updata
Vancouver-based Durable raised $14m USD in a round led by Spark Capital, with participation from Torch Capital, South Park Commons, Infinity Ventures, Dash Fund, Altman Capital, Soma Capital, and more
Toronto-based Terminal raised $3.1m USD in a round led by Golden Ventures with participation from Y Combinator and others.
Does this mean that fundraising has rebounded?
Companies do not have to disclose fund raises and if they choose to announce a fund raise they do not need to do it on any specific time line.
in other words it is not clear if the timing of these announcements is just a coincidence or an indication of a healthier market. If we start to see a consistent uptick of announcements through the end of the year and into the new year then we could get more confident in having a strong opinion.
Is there anything important to note about these rounds?
The promising aspect of these announcements is that there is very little in common. Yes there are two "early stage" AI companies (EZee Assist and Durable) and no Canadian investors appear to have participated in ContactMonkey or Durable rounds but if you look at these deals and others announced over the past week they are from multiple sectors and at multiple stages. This is the most positive signal of what was announced.
What else should we know about these 3 deals?
Let's start with ContactMonkey, this feels more like a private equity investment than a traditional venture capital deal.
The company was founded in 2010, has previously raised very little outside financing and is profitable. The round was large and consisted of one investor with expertise in the company's market. It seems like the company raised to capitalize from the tailwinds of employers looking to better engage employees by investing in marketing and sales. They were most likely to raise due to strong unit economics and a clear path growth plan.
Contrast that raise to Terminal's which reads like a more traditional early-stage venture round. Founders whom have previously worked at a high growth start-up (NorthOne) that went through Y Combinator tackling a large problem in a large market (trucking/logistics) with modern technology (API solution) and early signs of traction (150,000 trucks committed to being integrated into the system). Golden is leading the round in anticipation that the company can continue to scale and build a massive company.
Finally, Durable's round reads more like the recent AI rounds. The company uses generative AI to automatically build websites for small service providers.
Since launch, they have built 6+ million websites. They raised the new round to build new products to offer customers a "business in a box" (and increase revenue per customer). The investment is driven by the belief that generative AI is enabling new businesses to win.
What should the community take away from this?
It is not clear if the last week is a little holiday gift that will not be repeated in the new year or if it is the start of a new upward trend. Either way, we are happy to see companies announce funding rounds and that in all cases the companies are looking to expand teams.
Partner Content: Vanta
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