Acquisition roundup: Clio, ChainSafe, Versaterm, Obie, Covience, SquareFeet.ai, LifeLearn Animal Health

Seven Canadian tech companies have recently made acquisitions or have been acquired, including Clio, ChainSafe, Versaterm, Obie, Covience, Squarefeet.ai, and LifeLearn Animal Health. Here’s the latest on Canada’s movers and shakers.

Clio acquires CalendarRules

Burnaby, British Columbia-based legal tech startup Clio has acquired California automated court calendar-focused firm CalendarRules, in its second acquisition to date. The financial terms of the acquisition, which was first reported by LawSites, were not disclosed.

CalendarRules was founded in 2007 as a spin-off from OpenText. The company automatically creates calendar events based on court deadlines, helps law firms set up automated reminders, and syncs court dates to other calendar apps.

As part of the deal, CalendarRules founder and CEO Scott Davis is joining Clio as general manager of CalendarRules. Stacy Saliman is also becoming director of client services at CalendarRules, under Clio, while the CalendarRules’ support team will remain in place.

Founded in 2008, Clio aims to make it easier for lawyers to manage firms, cases, and clients. The startup’s products include practice management software and client intake and relationship management software.

In 2018, Clio acquired client intake and relationship management platform Lexicata. The CalendarRules acquisition follows Clio’s $136 million CAD Series E round in April, through which it achieved unicorn status.

ChainSafe acquires Node Factory

Toronto-based blockchain research and development (R&D) firm ChainSafe Systems has acquired Croatian blockchain development partner Node Factory for an undisclosed amount.

ChainSafe focuses on Web 3.0 and Ethereum blockchain development. Prior to this deal, the two firms partnered together on blockchain projects.

For ChainSafe, the deal adds a roster of developers to its team. Node Factory co-founder and CEO Belma Gutlic will join ChainSafe as head of solutions, while Marin Petrunic, co-founder and CTO at Node Factory, will join as ChainSafe’s European lead. Going forward, ChainSafe said it will look to make more strategic moves of this nature.

Versaterm acquires SPIDR Tech

Ottawa public safety tech firm Versaterm has acquired California-based SPIDR Tech, an automated customer service software company, for an undisclosed amount.

Versaterm, which was founded in 1977, serves over 65,000 police, fire, and EMS professionals across North America. SPIDR, which was developed by police officers, offers direct SMS, emails, and mobile-friendly surveys between law enforcement and community members. As part of the deal, Versaterm plans to integrate SPIDR into its computer-aided dispatch and record management system.

Obie acquired by Lessonly

Hamilton-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Obie has been acquired by Indiana’s Lessonly, which provides training software. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2015, Obie aims to help companies organize their knowledge with its AI-based assistant. The startup’s tech uses AI to surface siloed knowledge and deliver it to where questions are asked, and aims to speed up internal support for mid-sized companies. In April 2020, Obie raised a $1 million CAD seed round led by High Park Angels.

Lessonly said it acquired Obie to help it train frontline teams in hybrid and remote work environments, adding that the two companies “met at the right place, at the right time.” Lessonly said it was ready to become “an enablement suite of choice,” but was missing a knowledge product, which it said Obie offers. As part of the deal, the company has rebranded Obie to Lessonly Knowledge.

Covience to be acquired by Angel Oak

Toronto FinTech startup Covience is set to be acquired by American asset manager Angel Oak next month for an undisclosed amount. For Angel Oak, the deal is part of its strategy to enhance its capabilities in the US, while also expanding its global presence.

Founded in 2019, Covience offers advisory services and banking-as-a-service capabilities to Canadian and American markets. As part of the deal, the Covience team is set to join Angel Oak, which plans to integrate the Canadian company and its offering.

SquareFeet.ai acquired by pair of appraisal firms

Montréal-based proptech startup SquareFeet.ai has been acquired by two local chartered real estate appraisal groups, CAP Immobilier and NOVÉA. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SquareFeet.ai, which was founded in 2020, recommends real-time, dynamic pricing and sales tracking for real estate developers. After developing its real estate pricing technology for the past year, SquareFeet.ai decided to sell its business. According to Montréal in Technology, which was first to report this news, the sale was motivated by its team’s plans to return to school.

Montréal in Technology reported that three of the firm’s co-founders have sold their stake in the company, while the fourth, Benoit Thibault, has retained his ownership share and may continue working on SquareFeet.ai with its new owners. UPDATE (08/03/21): Thibault confirmed to BetaKit that he has also sold his share of SquareFeet.ai, and will only assist its new owners to ensure a smooth transition of the company’s tech. All four SquareFeet.ai founders have sold their stakes in the startup.

LifeLearn Animal Health acquired by ProSites

California’s ProSites has acquired Guelph-based LifeLearn Animal Health for an undisclosed amount. Rockbridge Growth Equity, the Detroit-based private equity firm that owns ProSites, provided strategic support for this acquisition.

Founded in 1994, LifeLearn provides marketing, customer communication and education solutions to veterinary practices across North America. ProSites offers web design and digital marketing solutions to small business owners in the dental, medical, accounting, veterinary, and legal markets. Combined, the two companies support over 17,000 small businesses across the US and Canada.

The acquisition increases ProSites’ investment in the animal health market, adds a base of veterinary customers to its list of clients, and gives the American firm a Canadian satellite office near Toronto. ProSites characterized the acquisition as “a strategic expansion” of its overall business plans.

Feature image courtesy of Clio

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.