Communitech acquires to add data-backed insights to its repertoire

The deal is part of Communitech redefining its supports for startups.

Communitech has acquired the Canadian startup data platform, as it looks to build out a data engine to power its founder support programs.

The Kitchener-Waterloo innovation hub is set to announce the merger at its annual general meeting later today. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Communitech CEO and president Chris Albinson told BetaKit in an interview that the purchase of is about extending the capabilities of a “data engine” that the hub has been developing with the goal of better understanding how it can support startups.

“We’re not only collecting the right data from startups across the country — we’re grounding the vital support that we provide.”

Calling Canada the fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world, Albinson argued that there is a lack of data to support that growth. He likened it to an airplane with no gas or instruments.

“Through this acquisition, we’re not only collecting the right data from startups across the country — we’re grounding the vital support that we provide to Canadian founders in robust analytics,” he said. was co-created and led by now-former CEO Rob Darling, and got an early start using data from Hockeystick. Disclosure: BetaKit has been a media partner since its origins in Hockeystick. collects data on and tracks startups as well as provides insights on investment trends through newsletters and reports. The platform will continue to operate in this way, according to Communitech.

Darling worked as a consultant for Hockeystick over the years, starting in 2017 after Hockeystick acquired his former startup, private market data platform LaunchSpot. Since’s creation, Hockeystick has shifted its focus to a “funding-as-a-service” platform.

A Waterloo-based repeat founder, Darling has existing ties to Communitech, having served as a consultant and then its CTO between 2016 and 2019. Darling has agreed to consult for Communitech for the next couple of years to support the transition.

“ was started based on a community need and its growth is evidence of our country’s passion for the success of Canadian technology startups,” said Darling. “I am thrilled about the impact has had to date.”

The data platform marks the second acquisition that Communitech has made in recent years focused on expanding its supports for startups. In 2021, Communitech took over the Canadian startup job board Prospect. Albinson called this deal an effort on Communitech’s part to share talent-related data with its members.

In recent weeks, as there has been an onslaught of layoffs, Communitech relaunched Prospect’s Help List, which is meant to help laid-off tech workers from across the country find new opportunities with Canadian tech companies.

Communitech has been on a journey to redefine itself over the past few years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has adjusted what it means to be a physical innovation hub.

Since Albinson took on the role of Communitech CEO in 2021, the hub developed what it calls its True North Strategy, which is an effort to help 14 Canadian founders reach $1 billion in annual revenue by 2030. It has also been exploring launching its own $200 million venture fund.

Albinson noted that the data engine is part of Communitech defining itself; the hub hopes to be able to provide data that spans talent, funding, and creates stronger procurement opportunities for Canadian startups.

Part of Communitech’s evolution also includes the recent addition of a chief business
development and partnerships officer, Malcolm MacGregor.

MacGregor recently joined Communitech in the newly created role to build partnership opportunities between Communitech member companies and corporate partners.

“We think about it as the supercharger for Canadian innovation,” said Albinson, noting that Communitech built its data engine to better understand what was working and what wasn’t. The CEO stated that with the purchase of, combined with Prospect, Communitech is better positioned to support startups.

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Senior Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.

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