Brings total investment in new enterprises to $28.8 million in 62
TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Five Ontario companies have received
funding from the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), bringing the
program's total investment in Ontario's emerging enterprises to $28.8
million in 62 companies since its inception.
As Ontario's most active seed-stage investor, the IAF helps startups
develop their businesses and positions them for further investment by
angels and venture capitalists. It is funded by the Government of
Ontario and delivered by MaRS.
Since September 2012, the IAF has invested up to $500,000 in each of the
Atomic Reach links brands and bloggers via its content curation
In the Chat helps clients identify social media content relevant to
their brands, categorized for ease of use and delivered for action.
Jibestream uses digital technology to help people search and retrieve
information in public spaces.
Privacy Analytics helps companies in the health, consumer Internet and
financial industries protect the privacy of personal data used for
analysis and research.
Vana Workforce provides Cloud HR tools specifically designed for the
needs of small and medium enterprises.
Chris Wiegand, CEO of Jibestream, says the IAF's investment has been
integral to the company's success.
"Working with the IAF through MaRS has given Jibestream important
resources far beyond funding," Wiegand says. "We have been the
benefactor of expert advice, access to outside programs and
introductions for additional capital investment. The IAF has been the
single greatest contributor to our ability to scale the company at this
stage of our business."
The fund invests up to $500,000 in companies with the potential to
become global leaders in their fields and provide sustainable economic
benefits to Ontario. To date, IAF portfolio companies employ more than
850 staff in high-value jobs, fuelling Ontario's innovation economy.
Funding and support from the IAF will help these innovative companies
introduce new technologies that will make businesses more efficient,
benefit quality of life, improve our health and protect our
To date, IAF portfolio companies have raised more than $130 million in
follow-on capital, according to Barry Gekiere, the IAF's managing
"The IAF continues to seed early-stage companies with dynamic management
teams, truly innovative technology and great growth potential, and
these five most recent investments are no exception," says Gekiere.
"Our role is to provide funding to help these companies achieve
commercial success and go on to attract additional funding to support
John Huehn, CEO of In the Chat, says the IAF's investment has helped the
company expand its services into new regions and continue the rapid
development of its platform.
"Beyond the IAF's financial investment in our company, we have also
greatly valued the support and guidance of the IAF management team,"
Huehn says. "The due diligence process that the IAF ran with In the
Chat was thorough and prompted new thinking about more than one area of
our business plan. The IAF's continued support post-investment has made
it a highly trusted and valued partner to our company."
More information on the IAF's most recent investments:
Atomic Reach (Twitter: @Atomic_Reach) is a robust content marketing platform that enables brands and
bloggers to expand their reach, improve user engagement and drive more
revenue through community collaboration. For many brands and bloggers,
creating content is challenging, time-consuming and expensive. However,
a dynamic and constant flow of content is an essential requirement in
building traction, growth and awareness. The company's mission is to
help revolutionize the interaction, exchange and promotion of great
In the Chat (Twitter: @IntheChat) is a "customer service in social media" company. In the Chat has
developed an end-to-end analytics and servicing platform that leverages
advanced search and text mining to help its clients identify social
media content that is relevant to their brand, categorized for ease of
use and delivered for action, either via root-cause problem resolution
or through individual customer engagement. Benefits realized by clients
include increased sales, reduced service calls and improved customer
Jibestream (Twitter: @Jibestream) helps people search and retrieve information in public spaces using
digital technologies. As innovators blending ease of use with a
sophisticated foundation, the company's platform introduces new and
revolutionary capabilities while building direct bridges to other
Privacy Analytics (Twitter: @privacyanalytic) helps companies in the health, consumer Internet and financial
industries protect the privacy of personal data used for analysis and
research. Its solution offers secondary users of personal information
high quality, de-identified data suitable for complex analytics, while
still meeting the most stringent legal, privacy and compliance
regulations. Privacy Analytics works with some of the largest research
organizations and pharmaceutical, healthcare and insurance providers in
North America. The company's software has been used to de-identify more
than 100 million records.
Vana Workforce (Twitter: @vanaworkforce) is a global provider of on-demand human capital software and service
solutions specifically designed for the needs of small and medium
enterprises. Developed on the industry's leading cloud platform,
Force.com, Vana Human Capital Management delivers a complete and
integrated human capital management solution for global organizations,
including the core human resource system of records, benefits and
compensation, absence management, performance and talent management,
career and succession planning, workforce collaboration and workforce
About the Investment Accelerator Fund
The Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) (www.marsdd.com/iaf) (Twitter: @MaRSIAF) provides up to $500,000 in seed funding to qualified emerging
companies in Ontario. As a critical component of the Ontario Network of
Excellence (ONE), the IAF supports the launch and development of
innovative companies in Ontario's priority sectors of advanced
materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works
with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS
supports entrepreneurs building Canada's next generation of growth
SOURCE: MaRS Discovery District
For further information:
Manager, Media & Community Relations
(416) 673-8100 ext. 2710