Startups on the 2021 list made major financing deals and exits.
For the past few years, thanks to the team at BetaKit, I’ve had the opportunity to share thoughts on some of the companies I’m excited about in the Canadian tech landscape.
I’ll be doing the same for the year ahead, but I first wanted to take a moment to review last year’s list of companies to watch, and see how they fared in 2021.
Bluedot is an epidemic intelligence platform that provides global and industry leaders, and corporations with the insights to detect, assess, and respond to epidemics.
Unsurprisingly, 2021 proved to be another eventful year full of historic levels of growth given the ongoing global pandemic. Not only was business booming, but the company was also highlighted as one of 2021’s Best Workplaces in Technology.
Clutch is reinventing the way that people buy cars with beautiful galleries and no-pressure sales tactics, building a new kind of dealership along the way.
It appears to be well on its way to fulfilling that goal, as the company raised not one, but two blockbuster financing rounds in 2021. Clutch announced a $20 million Series A in March, followed by a $100 million Series B in November.
Symend’s digital engagement platform uses behavioural science and data-driven insights to empower customers to resolve past due bills.
Consumer finances continued to march toward increased digitization throughout 2021, making Symend’s work ever more impactful both to consumers who need to manage their bills, and the vendors who provide services to those consumers.
Ollie Order [EXIT]
Ollie Order provides independent beverage alcohol manufacturers and buyers with a dynamic platform to manage their orders, inventory and payments.
2021 was an exciting year for the company, including a successful exit to the Next Glass family of brands, as announced in July.
Craver is a mobile app platform for restaurants, pizzerias, coffee shops, sushi bars and much more.
The restaurant and hospitality sector continued to face challenging times in 2021, with an increased need for effective digital channels to service customers given ongoing pandemic-related restrictions and lockdown. Craver continued to step up and meet restaurants’ demand with its fully white-labeled digital apps. The company enjoyed historic growth and grew its headcount by over 50 percent in 2021.
Synctera works with FinTech companies and community banks to help streamline partnerships by reducing the technical complexity and risk for all parties involved.
The barely one-year-old company raised a massive $33 million Series A in September, proving not only is Synctera off to a great start, but the best is yet to come.
Showbie is a hybrid learning platform for managing classroom workflow and personalized feedback for students of all learning abilities, on any device.
Ongoing lockdowns continued to shine a light on the critical importance of remote and hybrid learning environments for students of all ages. Showbie capitalized on growing demand with a $7.5 million Series A extension round, announced in February.
Elastic Garage sought to re-think how consumers owned and used home and outdoor gear.
Having launched in early 2021, the company failed to realize product-market fit and decided to cease operations. After shutting down Elastic Garage, company founder, Chris Payne, joined fellow 2021 Companies To Watch company, Craver Solutions, as the company’s first chief growth officer.
2021 proved to be an exciting year for the company, with CEO Ben Nashman being recognized by the Thiel Foundation as one of the fellows in the year’s fellowship program.
Lufa Farms brings sustainable food practices to urban environments through its rooftop greenhouses located in close proximity to their customers, minimizing emissions related to transportation.
The company focused heavily on social causes surrounding food insecurity throughout 2021, having raised over $250,000 and delivered over 4000 baskets to needy families.
LifeSpeak’s wellness platform helps employers keep their employees present, healthy and thriving.
2021 was nothing short of transformative for the company, having IPO’ed on the TSX in July, followed by three acquisitions. The company has recently filed for follow-on financing to raise as much as $425 million.
For many of us, 2021 was another challenging and eventful year, making for a fitting sequel to 2020. In spite of this, the Canadian technology industry continued to thrive, setting new highs and expanding its global footprint. Each of these companies is a testament to the resilience of our tech ecosystem and I’m looking forward to continuing to watch each of them in the years ahead.
Stay tuned for the 2022 list of Canadian startups to watch.