500 Startups has announced the 29 companies accepted into Batch 26 of its seed program, and five Canadian companies are among them.
Companies in Batch 26 represent a wide range of industries including digital marketing, insurance, FinTech, data analytics, gaming, advertising, healthcare, and more. Selected companies from the cohort will participate in 500 Startups’ Demo Day on March 19.
“With this accelerator cycle, we again set out to find companies with truly game changing innovations.”
The 500 Seed Accelerator, which provides $150,000 USD in funding in exchange for six percent equity, gives participating startups access to 500 Startups’ Silicon Valley network, as well as support with funding strategy. Specifically, participants will have access to mentors and experts on topics such as distribution, product design, data, fundraising, and more.
According to 500 Startups, 37 percent of companies in this most recent cohort are from outside of North America, from countries including Brazil, Nigeria, and India. Thirty percent of companies have a female founder, and 70 percent have one or more founders that identify as racial minorities.
“With this accelerator cycle, we again set out to find companies with truly game changing innovations,” said Aaron Blumenthal, a venture partner at 500 Startups. “We’re proud to have executed that vision successfully with this cohort, which stems from all over the world. They are a great reflection of our truly global recruiting effort that puts an emphasis on community and diversity.”
In the past, 500 Startups has put increasing focus on the Canadian ecosystem. In March 2016, the accelerator launched 500 Canada, a $30 million CAD fund focused on businesses that can achieve profitability with less than $1 million in total investment. The fund closed $15 million in January 2017, however, in the wake of allegations of 500 Startups founder Dave McClure’s sexual misconduct and resignation, 500 Canada decided to terminate the fund.
In June 2018, BetaKit reported that 500 Startups would return to Canada with Neha Khera in charge of leading activity and bringing more Canadian tech companies into its accelerator program.
The five Canadian companies in Batch 26 include:
- Acadium, which connects business owners and marketing professionals with aspiring digital marketers. (Ottawa, ON)
- AppBind, which allows users to buy and resell online software subscriptions by connecting with implementation consultants, system integrators, and distributors. (Toronto, ON)
- Mero Technologies, which retrofits commercial buildings with sensors to analyze in real time traffic and consumables, such as toilet paper and soap, to inform cleaning routes (Toronto, ON)
- Briza, which provides an insurance-as-a-service API that enables instant quoting, binding, and issuance of commercial insurance policies. (Toronto, ON)
- Bliinx, which offers away to find information on business relationships by aggregating all interactions with contacts into Office 365. (Montreal, Que.)
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