Funding roundup: Aviron, Symboticware, Shopistry, ICwhatUC

Four Canadian tech startups have recently secured fresh funding to fuel their growth. Here are the details on who raised money, how much, from whom, and what they plan to put the new capital toward.

Aviron secures $4.5 million to fuel expansion of “gamified rowing”

Toronto fitness tech startup Aviron has secured $4.5 million in capital from Samsung Next, Formix Ventures, GFC, Y Combinator, and other undisclosed investors.

Aviron, which first launched to the commercial market in 2018, provides a connected rowing machine built on a gaming software platform by ex-Unity game developers. The company’s software-hardware product combines gaming with high-intensity interval training, offering hundreds of workout options ranging from games to peer-to-peer live racing modules.

According to Aviron, although the pandemic “has seen an influx of connected fitness devices … none have focused on true fitness gaming.” Antonio Key, director of venture investments at Samsung Next, said COVID-19 “accelerated consumer adoption of experiences that blur the digital and physical worlds faster than we anticipated,” adding that this rise in popularity stands to benefit Aviron.

American interactive fitness platform Peloton capitalized on this environment: the company saw its sales surge over the past year as users sought home workout solutions during pandemic shutdowns. Last month, the Nasdaq-listed company announced plans to enter the video game business, disclosing plans to debut an in-app video game.

Aviron first established itself in gyms, multi-family housing, and hotels across the world and YMCAs and Gold’s Gyms locations in the United States. The startup launched in the consumer market last year. Aviron claims it has seen “remarkable growth for a seed-stage company” since then, surpassing its 2020 revenue in the first quarter of 2021, and doubling its user base during the same period. Today, Aviron is available throughout North America, and the company is looking to expand its presence internationally.

Symboticware raises $2.8 million for mining analysis tech

Sudbury-based industrial IoT hardware and software company Symboticware has secured $2.8 million CAD in seed funding, the company’s first venture financing to date.

The round was led by Toronto’s GreenSky Capital, which recently secured the first close of its fourth fund. It also saw participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, Celtic House Asia Partners, Axion, and other angel investors, including members of the GreenSky President’s Club. The funding follows a $500,000 July investment Symboticware received from the Government of Ontario through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Founded in 2008, Symboticware offers hardware and software to natural resource companies that enables them to gather and analyze data from heavy and light-duty mobile assets. The company’s products help clients improve their operational efficiency, optimize the carbon footprint of their equipment, and reduce unsafe incidents, helping them achieve operational and climate goals.

Symboticware said the latest funding will enable the company to advance its technology for natural resources industries, including mining, forestry, construction, agriculture, and oil and gas.

“As we near the launch of [the] industry’s first Operating System of Intelligence, it’s essential that we keep looking forward and pushing through to the next phase of Symboticware,” said Ash Agarwal, Symboticware’s CEO. “The infusion of funds from such reputed investors will allow us to build and deliver an integrated product that will serve a long-standing and unmet need of resource industries worldwide.”

Shopistry secures $2 million to fuel the shift to headless commerce

Toronto’s Shopistry, which offers a turnkey headless commerce platform, has raised more than $2 million to serve more fast-growing digital brands.

The round saw participation from Kitchener-Waterloo’s Garage Capital, Toronto-based Raiven Capital and Mantella Venture Partners, and undisclosed strategic angels from Canada and the United States. According to TechCrunch, the seed round also included Shoptalk founder Jonathan Weiner and Hatch Labs’ Amar Varma.

Raiven first announced its investment in Shopistry in April, but did not disclose the amount. Shopistry initially revealed that it had raised a $2 million financing round in June. According to TechCrunch, Shopistry plans to use the fresh capital to fuel its product development efforts and hire more sales and marketing employees.

Founded in 2019, Shopistry launched its hosted headless commerce platform earlier this year. Headless commerce refers to e-commerce architecture where the front-end is separated from the back-end. Shopistry’s software allows brands and other retail users to deploy custom DTC, mobile, and B2B commerce experiences without the need for re-platforming complex engineering.

ICwhatUC raises $1.3 million to simplify customer-driven repairs

Calgary-based startup ICwhatUC has secured $1.3 million CAD ($1.1 million USD) in a funding round led by Heron Rock to expand its platform’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.

ICwhatUC, which was founded in 2018, has developed a self-service support application that uses augmented reality (AR) through shared smartphone video to simplify customer-driven repairs, allowing companies to remotely complete inspections, assessments, estimates, and more. The company currently serves customers in North America, Europe, and Australia.

According to Guillermo Salazar, ICwhatUC’s CEO, the field service industry is “thoroughly underserved by technology.” The startup touts its offering as “a data-powered virtual work platform” that uses AI to automate tasks and provides field teams access to predictive analytics gathered from customer data.

ICwhatUC raised a $680,000 CAD pre-seed round last June to scale its team and expansion efforts across North America. The startup plans to use its latest funding to accelerate its platform’s AI and machine learning capabilities, bolster its international and United States expansion efforts, and grow its tech, customer success, and sales teams.

Feature image courtesy of Aviron

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.