Out of a cohort that comprises 414 startups, 15 Canadian companies participated in Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 Demo Day this week, the accelerator’s 34th to date. The two-day virtual event featured founders from 43 countries to pitch their businesses to selected investors and press.
This marks the second consecutive year that Y Combinator saw an all-time high of Canadian companies joining its cohort, with the program featuring 16 Canadian startups in this cohort as well as in its Summer 2021 edition. One Canadian startup deferred from participating in the Y Combinator demo day, and as such is not included in this article.
According to Y Combinator, 17,000 applications were submitted for its winter 2022 batch from companies that range in over 80 sectors.
Here are the Canadian companies that presented during Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 Demo Day.
KorrAI offers a geospatial platform that is designed to help mining companies run their operations more efficiently and extract critical minerals out of the ground faster.
Founded in 2020 by Rahul Anand and Rob McEwan, KorrAI claims that mineral exploration companies usually take 12 months on average to deploy a team and understand the impact. The Halifax-based company says its satellite technology is able to cut that time down to weeks.
In the same year as its inception, KorrAI received $25,000 as part of the Volta Cohort pitch competition where it also joined Volta’s spring cohort.
Vancouver-headquartered Spade offers a universal transaction enrichment API. With a single API call, the company takes raw transaction data and adds normalized merchant identities, categories, granular geo data, and more. The company says this allows FinTech companies to underwrite, identify fraud, and understand their customers.
In December, Spade reportedly raised $1.1 million in pre-seed funding from Gradient Ventures with participation from The Fund, and angel investors.
Spade was created last year by two-time founder Oban MacTavish and Cooper Hart. MacTavish previously co-founded Hubly, a SaaS solution designed to enhance practice management for financial advisory firms.
Venue.live aims to make large remote meetings more fun by offering an interactive livestreaming platform.
Created in 2020 by co-founders Danilo Cabello, TechTO’s Jason Goldlist, Pei Li, and Frank Poon, Toronto-based Venue’s platform is designed to help remote-first companies grow employee engagement, build culture, and increase employee retention.
Brands that use Venue include Shopify, Yelp, Wealthsimple, Loblaw Digital, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Trueplace offers a service that invests in first-time home buyers to purchase their home. The company provides a portion of the down payment in exchange for a share of the future capital appreciation of the property.
Founded in 2021 by Jovan Choongh and Karan Grover, Trueplace’s platform helps users by connecting them with its federally regulated banking partners to get a mortgage pre-approval amount, as well as its network of real estate agents to help in finding properties.
After three years since the initial transaction, the user can then decide to buy out Trueplace’s investment or sell the home.
Based out of British Columbia, Trueplace currently operates in the Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Langley, Abbotsford, North Vancouver, and Surrey housing markets.
Toronto-based Litebulb provides a platform that allows for automated onsite coding interviews.
Instead of having engineers sit through multiple interviews a day, companies can use Litebulb to stimulate regular development work and extract a candidate’s technical skills data from their interviews.
Litebulb was launched last year by founder and CEO Gary Lin. Prior to leading Litebulb, Lin also co-founded LUQL and previously worked for multiple tech firms as a software engineer.
Campfire offers a video conferencing platform that is designed to help remote teams engage in fun, virtual socials.
Founded by two-time metaverse startup founder Siamak Freydoonnejad and product manager vet Sina Zargaran last year, Campfire’s software acts as a company’s informal gathering space.
With Campfire’s platform, users can roam around freely in the virtual space, or join breakout rooms to socialize or play games. New activities are added every week, from board games and trivia to soccer and escape rooms.
Palitronica provides software that is aimed at improving national security. To do this, the company is developing instant, active cyber protection powered by physics.
Since it was formed in 2019 as a spin-out from the University of Waterloo’s Real-time Embedded Software Lab, Palitronica’s mission is to protect critical infrastructure and key resources from cyberthreats. Its team is made up of hardware and software engineers, security leaders, internationally-recognized security experts, and technology entrepreneurs.
Palitronica’s founders are Sebastian Fischmeister, a University of Waterloo professor with over 20 years of research and development experience in safety and security of safety-critical embedded systems.; as well as Carlos Moreno, who has been teaching at the University of Waterloo since 2012 and was previously a senior projects engineer in Venezuela.
Armilla AI is a Toronto startup developing a quality assurance (QA) platform for large enterprises to govern, deploy, and scale their machine learning (ML) systems.
Founded in 2020 by Dan Adamson, Rahm Hafiz, and Karthik Ramakrishnan, Armilla claims to be the first all-in-one QA for ML platform. Its technology enables users to oversee every phase of model development, detect hidden biases and issues, and get alerts on abnormal behaviours.
Yoshua Bengio, notable pioneer in AI and scientific director at Mila, previously invested in Armilla as part of the company’s $1.5 million pre-seed round.
Fredericton-headquartered SnapTrade offers an API to connect retail brokerage accounts to any fintech app.
Launched in 2017 by co-founders Brendan Lee Young and Brendan Wood, SnapTrade enables API access to real-time account data, historical transactions, and trade. According to the company, this makes it possible to build new investing experiences with existing brokerage accounts so users don’t need to transfer their information.
SnapTrade was formerly known as Passiv, and announced that it is one of the Canadian companies that is backed by Y Combinator in the winter 2022 batch.
Agentnoon is a human resources analytics company that intends to help organizations with their people planning through data visualization.
Founded last year by Dave Kim and Ali Nawab, Agentnoon provides predictive people analytics to enable companies in streamlining their hiring process and achieve business goals. The platform allows users to monitor different metrics including employee performance and project timelines.
Kitchener-Waterloo-based Hyperbeam offers an API that lets multiple users control a shared embeddable web browser. For example, a remote learning company might partner with Hyperbeam and use the API to allow its users to play games together on their platform.
Launched in 2021 by co-founders Ambareesh Balaji, Declan Goncalves, and Philip Scott, Hyperbeam was created to enable people to learn, collaborate, and socialize in new ways online and in the metaverse.
Hyperbeam’s platform currently supports popular web applications such as Google Drive, Google Slides, GIPHY, Kahoot, YouTube, Trello, Dropbox, and more.
Instant Domains, a Victoria-based SaaS startup, offers web services for companies that want to take their business online.
Built as a side project by co-founder and CEO Beau Hartshorne in 2005, Instant Domains provides a platform that allows users to purchase a site domain, instantly launch a website without any coding, and accept payments online. Hartshorne was previously an engineer at Facebook’s growth, photos, and mobile teams.
Kitchener-Waterloo-based startup Samos Insurance was founded last year by Kenota Health co-founder Eric Blondeel, insurance industry veteran Leon Punambolam, and Crunchyroll and Flatiron Health alum Matthew Eggertson.
Samos recently launched is digital insurance product that offers protection for accidental death during planned surgical procedures such as cesarean sections, joint replacements, and heart surgeries
WeReno aims to reduce disputes during renovations by mediating payments through a milestone-based escrow system and by providing both contractors and homeowners with a transparent customer relationship management tool.
Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Harry Grewal and financial analyst Amrit Randhawa, WeReno’s customer relationship management tool was created to mediate payments and reduce disputes during renovations.
Space data startup Wyvern is developing camera technology that will make high-resolution hyperspectral imagery from satellites accessible and affordable. The startup claims its telescopes will be designed to be compact on launch and to deploy in space.
Ahead of its acceptance into the Y Combinator program, Wyvern previously raised $4.5 million in pre-seed and seed funding throughout 2021. Most recently, the company secured $4 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
Feature image from Wyvern