Five tech companies with Canadian roots recently secured new funding to fuel their growth. Here are the details of who raised how much money from whom, and what the new capital will be used for.
Figment secures CAD 63 million to build the PoS infrastructure
Toronto-based blockchain infrastructure and services startup Figment raised $ 63 million ($ 50 million) in Series B funding, which the company said is the largest ever for a digital asset provider is.
The round, which included no debt or secondary capital, was jointly led by Senator Investment Group and Liberty City Ventures and saw the participation of Galaxy Digital, Anchorage, Declaration Partner, Bonfire Ventures, GSR, GFT VC, JPK Capital, 40 North, Finality Capital Partners and Hard Yaka. The fresh capital increases Figment’s total funding to $ 83 million.
According to Bloomberg, the Figment round is valued at $ 500 million.
Founded in 2018, Figment provides staking, middleware and application layer solutions for cryptocurrency token holders and developers. The company’s Series B round follows its $ 2.5 million seed raising last October. The startup plans to use the fresh capital to increase its current workforce of 75 and expand the breadth of its services, which it offers “up and down the web 3-stack”. Figment said the funding will help him build the back-end systems and infrastructure that will provide income from digital tokens and other assets.
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Figment aims to strengthen the use of proof-of-stake blockchains (PoS), which allow users better control over their data, more privacy, and better financial inclusion. “Staking is a hugely important and mission-critical part of the blockchain ecosystem and Figment is at the forefront of this technology,” said Emil Woods, partner at Liberty City Ventures.
Last month, Figment received a $ 80 million BRT grant over five years to join The Graph, a blockchain infrastructure project. Graph or ‘GRT’ tokens are Ethereum tokens contained in The Graph and valued at around $ 0.93 each. Canadian blockchain startup StreamingFast (formerly known as Dfuse) also joined The Graph as a core developer in June after receiving a $ 73.5 million grant.
FIX4 Capital Raises $ 7.2 Million to Expand Car Repair Loan Service
Montréal FinTech startup FIX4 Capital, which provides affordable and flexible auto repair loans, has raised $ 7.2 million in seed funding to fuel its expansion efforts.
The company’s seed round included venture capital firm Tactico, investment advisory firm Keira Capital Partners, and a group of angel investors including Martin Lavigne, former president of NBF Wealth Management at the National Bank.
FIX4 was founded in 2020 and launched its app and quick loan service earlier this year. The company offers up to $ 10,000 open financing over 12, 24, or 36 months at 19.9 percent interest, with approval based on vehicle value (based on make, model, year, and mileage) instead of Creditworthiness is granted.
FIX4, which requires no references, background or credit checks, offers these loans through its online loan approval system and claims to be able to approve clients in less than five minutes. Rick Ness, managing director of Tactico, said the company invested in FIX4 because its executive team “has the right combination of industry experience, customer service and technology expertise.”
Since its inception, the startup claims to have helped hundreds of drivers access car repairs. “The need for fair financing in the auto repair sector is greater than we could have ever imagined,” said Tave Della Porta, Co-Founder and CEO of FIX4. “The response we received from our existing service partners and dealers confirms our assumption – a percentage of consumers are either unable to repair their vehicle or fall into the arms of predatory lenders.”
Highstreet raises $ 5 million for VR-based DeFi marketplace
Los Angeles-based virtual reality (VR) startup Highstreet has secured $ 5 million in new funding to advance the development of its VR-based decentralized financial marketplace (DeFi).
The round was led by a group of crypto and traditional venture capital firms including Mechanism Capital, NGC Ventures, Palm Drive Capital, Cherubic Ventures, Jump Trading, GBV, Panony and Shima Capital. Community builders and influencers such as Encrypt Club, Mr. Block and Miss Bitcoin also took part.
Highstreet was founded in 2015 and aims to combine e-commerce, VR and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The startup describes itself as “the world’s first trade-centric metaverse with a decentralized financial marketplace for products in limited editions”. Highstreet has two subsidiaries, Sundance-backed LumiereVR Studio and Retinad Analytics, which were acquired in 2018. The company’s VR world consists of explorable islands with residential areas, a virtual marketplace and digital assets that are linked to real products and sold as NFTs.
The startup plans to use the capital to expand its Unity-focused engineering team and accelerate the rollout of its mobile and browser companion apps. According to Travis Wu, CEO and co-founder of Highstreet, the company plans to introduce a new retail experience into its VR world.
“Retail consumers have shown increased attention with digitally native products, but most brands failed to capture that interest,” said Andrew Kang, managing partner at High Street-Investor Mechanism Capital. “Highstreet offers retail brands the potential to innovatively arouse the interest of their customers through NFTs.”
According to the Vancouver Tech Journal, Highstreet currently employs around 40 people in Canada and around the world, with nearly 15 in Vancouver.
Appili closes $ 3.5 million to advance COVID-19 treatment
Halifax’s Appili Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing infectious disease drugs, has signed a convertible $ 3.5 million securities financing agreement.
As part of the transaction, Appili received net proceeds of $ 3.4 million from Lind Global Fund II, LP, an investment company managed by New York institutional fund manager The Lind Partners. Appili was founded in 2015 and was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in February 2020 for $ 10.25 million. The company is currently traded on the TSX under the symbol “APLI”.
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As part of a global consortium, Appili is currently sponsoring late-stage clinical trials evaluating an antiviral tablet for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 after the FDA received approval for the test last August. The company is also developing a number of anti-infectives, including a broad spectrum antifungal, a vaccine candidate to eradicate a serious biological weapons threat, and two novel antibiotic programs. Appili intends to use the fresh capital to support these efforts.
“Appili is working to develop medicines for some of the most pressing health problems the world is facing today,” said Armand Balboni, CEO of Appili. “This funding from Lind will help us advance our pipeline to address these important public health threats and provide Appili with greater operational flexibility.”
Viridis Terra raises $ 3.25 million to develop technology and grow the team
Québec City-based environmental services company Viridis Terra has raised CAD 3.25 million in seed capital to develop its TreesOfLives offering and support other degraded land restoration projects.
The round was supported by a group of angel investors including lead investor Bruce McKean, Gestion ChaMarin, NEL-i, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) and Québec City.
TreesOfLives, launched in February, is an impact investment fund integrated into an artificial intelligence-based platform that helps finance, optimize operational management and sell sustainable raw materials from forest landscape restoration projects. The startup’s offering enables investors to monitor the progress of Viridis Terra’s restoration projects, the return on their investment, and the impact of their contribution on carbon and biodiversity.
“With TreesOfLives we can transform the costs of restoration, afforestation and CO2 compensation into an impact investment that generates sustainable returns on all levels – financial, social, ecological and economic,” said Martin Beaudoin-Nadeau, founder of Viridis Terra. Calling the round “an important step in the commercialization and expansion of Viridis Terra’s international operations,” Beaudoin-Nadeau added that the startup plans to use the capital to add IT, marketing and sales experts and to further develop its technology.
Viridis Terra, founded in 2015, initially focused on the rehabilitation of industrial sites in the mining sector. The company opened a subsidiary in 2019 to diversify its activities and initiate large-scale sustainable forest landscape restoration projects. By the end of next year, Viridis Terra expects to have recovered up to 3,000 hectares as part of the first phase of its Peruvian operations, which it plans to use for replication in other Latin American countries.
UPDATE (8/30/21): This story has been updated to include responses from Figment.
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