AI startup Rubikloud acquired by Ottawa-based Kinaxis for $81.4 million CAD


Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup Rubikloud has been acquired by Ottawa-based software company Kinaxis for $81.4 million CAD ($60 million USD). The acquisition closed on July 2.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our [consumer packaged goods] customers today.”
– John Sicard

Under the terms of the acquisition, approximately 80 members from Rubikloud will join Kinaxis’ AI and machine learning team (Rubikloud lists 94 employees on its LinkedIn page).

Kinaxis said in a statement that the acquisition offers a “springboard into the enterprise retail industry” for the company’s RapidResponse platform, which offers a supply chain management solution to enterprises.

“We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own,” said Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud. “Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies, we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Rubikloud was founded in 2013, and over the last seven years has built a cloud-native AI platform that aims to improve promotional planning and loyalty driven marketing for large retailers. The startup raised a $46 million Series B led by Intel in January 2018 and secured several large global clients, including A.S. Watson Group, Asia and Europe’s largest international health and beauty retailer.

RELATED: As Rubikloud grows to 100, CEO Kerry Liu says it has a head start on the race to win retail cloud computing

Rubikloud’s AI products are targeted toward retailers and manufacturers in the health and beauty, household, and grocery markets. The company offers demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize pricing, trade promotions, and assortment.

Kinaxis, which was founded in 1995, has made several acquisitions in the last few years, with its most recent being the purchase of Prana Consulting, a supply chain consultancy based in India. Kinaxis’ president and CEO John Sicard said the deal with Rubikloud reflects the “growing importance” of AI to better serve customers.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our [consumer packaged goods] customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning team here at Kinaxis,” said Sicard. “Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse platform and applications.”

Update 02/07/2020: This story has been updated to reflect that the acquisition deal closed.

Image source Rubikloud via Facebook.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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