Four Canadian companies selected for inaugural CB Insights Advanced Manufacturing 50 list

Canvass Analytics
BenchSci, Vention among Canadian startups in the list.

Four Canadian companies have cracked the first edition of CB Insights’ Advanced Manufacturing 50 list, which the research firm said comprises the 50 most promising private advanced manufacturing companies in the world.

BenchSci, Canvass Analytics, Vention, and Novarc Technologies were the Canadian startups selected among a pool of over six thousand companies across the globe, including applicants and nominees.

According to CB Insights, the firms that made it into the Advanced Manufacturing 50 list were chosen based on factors including R&D activity, market potential, business relationships, investor profile, news sentiment analysis, competitive landscape, team strength, and team novelty.

Canada tied with Germany for second in terms of the number of selected companies headquartered in that country, each with four startups on the list. The United States (US) was first, with twenty seven representatives.

This year’s group come from 13 different countries. Other countries home to at least one winner on this year’s list include India, China, France, South Korea, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

CB Insight identified California private equity firm Accel as the top investor in 2022, backing five companies that made the list since 2017, such as Norwegian analytics and AI company Cognite, India-based process management tech startup DeTect Technologies, and US 3D printing company Fortify.

Beyond the Advanced Manufacturing 50, Accel has been an active investor to Canadian companies for a number of years, including the likes of Ada, Lightspeed, TailScale, 1Password, and Hootsuite.

Among the Canadian companies that made it onto the list, Montréal-headquartered Vention has raised the most in total funding, raising approximately $138 million USD ($177.1 million CAD) to date.

Founded in 2016 by Etienne Lacroix (CEO) and Max Windisch (CTO), Vention’s self-serve platform combines a suite of engineering software as well as plug-and-play automation components to help manufacturing professionals design, order, and deploy automated equipment.

RELATED: Georgian backs Vention again in $123.7 million CAD in Series C round

Vention claims a client base of over three thousand across five continents and 25 manufacturing industries. Its customers include Google, Universal Robots, Stryker, and Fanuc.

In May, Vention raised $123.7 million CAD for its Series C round. Vention has also previously secured $38 million CAD in a Series B round, $17 million CAD in Series A financing, and $3.5 million in seed funding.

Second to Vention in terms of total funding raised is Toronto’s BenchSci, which has raised around $108 million CAD to date.

BenchSci is a biotech startup that uses machine learning models to help expedite the research and discovery process for medicinal drugs. The company was founded in 2015 by Tom Leung, David Q Chen, Elvis Wianda, and Liran Belenzon. It launched commercially in July 2017, and since then, BenchSci’s products have been used by sixteen of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Moderna, and AstraZeneca.

Led by Inovia Capital’s growth fund and the US-based TCV, BenchSci closed a $63 million CAD Series C round in January. In the past, BenchSci also raised $29 million CAD in Series B funding, as well as $2.5 million in seed capital in 2017. Inovia Capital also led BenchSci’s $10 million Series A round in 2018.

RELATED: AI drug discovery startup BenchSci scores $63 million Series C round led by Inovia, TCV

Also based in Toronto is Canvass, which offers AI-driven software used by large industrial companies in the automotive, chemicals, energy, food and beverage, and metals and mining sectors.

Established in 2016 by CEO Humera Malik, Canvass claims that its no-code platform allows manufacturers to monitor and predict future output to help engineers optimize their processes, as well as reduce water consumption and carbon emissions.

Most recently, Canvass secured a $5.7 million grant from the Government of Canada through the Jobs and Growth Fund. The company has also raised $8.5 million in its Series A round with Yamaha Motor Ventures as the lead investor.

Crunchbase data also shows that Canvass’ also raised a cumulative $6.5 million in seed funding, which saw commitments from Real Ventures, the Creative Destruction Lab, and Gradient Ventures.

Following Canvass on the Advanced Manufacturing 50 roster is North Vancouver-based Novarc, which specializes in the design and commercialization of collaborative robots for industrial applications, and claims to have developed “the world’s first collaborative welding robot.”

Last year, Novarc received $2.6 million from BDC IP, representing the first transaction by BDC’s intellectual property-backed financing fund. In 2017, Novarc closed a $1 million investment led by Canadian marine transportation business Seaspan ULC, with participation from BDC Capital.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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