Agorize raises $20 million CAD, expanding Canadian presence

Agorize, online platform for hackathons and open innovation challenges, has raised $20 million CAD, which the company said will be used to expand its Canadian presence. This round of funding brings the startup’s total raise to $25 million since it was founded in 2011.

“Hackathons are used to find solutions to the wide variety of challenges that organizations may face.”

The four investors are Creadev, Sofiouest, Iris Capital, and Capnamic Ventures, all European organizations. Agorize said the fundraising round will allow it to strengthen its platform and community through R&D investment and a mass recruitment campaign for its global network of innovators.

“There are a lot of preconceived ideas about hackathons. Most people think that they can only be used to resolve technological problems and that they are only open to developers,” said Aurélie Wen, managing director at Agorize Canada. “In reality, today’s hackathons are used to find solutions to the wide variety of challenges that organizations may face.”

Although founded in Paris, France, Agorize has offices in cities around the world, notably with two offices in Canada, in Toronto and Montreal, respectively. It has connected over 200 organizations across North America, Europe, and Asia with its network of five million students, developers, and startups. Founded in 2011, the company’s platform helps its clients to launch, organize, and share innovation challenges with a community that spans 185 countries. Over 60,000 people have been recruited or have founded a startup following the 500 hackathons coordinated by Agorize.

The company said its platform is currently in high demand in Ontario, Quebec, and the United States, and that the company generates 12 percent of its revenue in North America. The new funding round will allow Agorize to invest in growing its teams locally, and the company’s aim is for the North American market to account for 25 percent of its income by 2021.

“As a female entrepreneur at the head of a startup, I’m very proud to see that 41 percent of users of our platform are women and that it is the most diverse teams that have the best chance of making it through to the final,” said Wen.

Agorize’s three-to-five-month format aims to make hackathons available to as many people as possible. The client company can select the best projects online before allowing the teams to pitch to senior management. The solution has already been adopted by L’Oréal, CBC, TD Insurance, Microsoft, National Bank, and Desjardins.

“Agorize put TD Insurance in contact with an international community of five million innovators who were able to help to solve a range of problems,” said François Langevin, associate vice president of innovation at TD Insurance. “The challenge also gave TD Insurance an excellent opportunity to scope out exceptional talent.”

Image courtesy Agorize via Twitter.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast