H|T: The Healthtech Times – Andre De Grasse is in a race to fund health startups

Plus: VC interest in fertility continues with $20M Series A for Pollin.

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Pollin Fertility raises $20-million CAD Series A led by David Thomson’s Osmington Inc. (BETAKIT)

Pollin Fertility is set to open the doors of its first clinic in downtown Toronto armed with an all-equity $20 million CAD raised in its Series A led by Osmington Inc.

The round formally closed in August and marks an outsized amount in a sector that has seen some activity lately, following Future Fertility’s $7.6 million raise in January 2022 and Twig Fertility’s $8 million raise in June of this year.

Sprinting star Andre De Grasse steps out of his lane for a new pursuit – backing startups (THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse is moving into a new lane, backing startups through his newly formed ADG Ignite Ventures.

De Grasse's investments include smart insole maker Plantiga Technologies Inc., portable gym equipment manufacturer Tut Fitness Group Ltd., online mental-health assistance provider MacroMind Media Inc., (known as Headversity) and Disco Inc., an online learning platform. He calls the four investments part of his “side quest.”


Built on student talent, CleanSlate UV sees huge growth

To help meet the demands of the growing bioeconomy, healthcare start-up CleanSlate UV leverages co-op students’ creativity and future-ready mindset.

“Students from Waterloo have a unique, exceptional talent that many businesses can benefit from. The top skills they bring to the table are an innovative mindset with a fresh, unbiased perspective and readiness to take on any new challenges” says Claire Dobbin, senior product manager at CleanSlate UV.

Did you know funding is available to cover up to 70% of a student’s salary? Talent experts can support you through the hiring process.

Get started today.

Homecare Hub secures $3.4 million CAD in seed funding for its Airbnb-style senior care platform (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based senior care platform Homecare Hub raised $2.5 million USD ($3.4 million CAD) in an oversubscribed all-equity seed funding round that comes with additional milestone-based funding.

Homecare Hub provides a platform built on a shared living in senior care model as an answer to the traditional retirement home. Clients can opt to “host” a shared living residence of two to 12 people and be matched with prospective clients based on personality and care needs with personal support workers assigned as needed.

Lululemon lays off 120 as it strikes deal with Peloton and pulls the plug on Mirror (THE LOGIC)

Lululemon is laying off about 120 staff as it winds up the Mirror smart-fitness business it acquired for US$500 million in June 2020. It’s the second round of layoffs in recent months for the Lululemon Studio division as the company has struggled to make the investment pay off.

Neo Financial, Float, and Cohere headline LinkedIn’s sixth annual list of Canada’s top 15 startups (BETAKIT)

In its blog post, LinkedIn highlighted difficulties faced by startups this year, such as venture capital deals in Canada dropping by 71 percent on an annual basis in the first quarter, higher interest rates, and the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.

Despite that, the list of Canada's top 15 startups reflects the resilience of FinTech and artificial intelligence (AI) startups, with just over half of the ranked startups involved in either of those sectors.

Virgin Pulse plans to merge with HealthComp in $3B deal (MOBIHEALTHNEWS)

Virgin Pulse, a mobile-first employee wellness and engagement company, announced its intent to merge with HealthComp, a benefits and analytics platform, to create a technology and data-enabled healthcare service for employers.

The reported $3 billion deal will form a combined entity that utilizes technology and an AI-enabled data platform to deliver health plan designs aimed at improving member health outcomes and lowering costs for members and employers.

Elevate announces CIX acquisition and new $2-million innovation challenge for youth mental health (BETAKIT)

Elevate kicked off this year's tech and innovation festival on its main stage by announcing its acquisition of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and a partnership with MaRS and Kids Help Phone to launch a $2-million innovation challenge aimed at improving youth mental health.

How Amazon's $4B investment in AI company Anthropic impacts healthcare (FIERCE HEALTHCARE)

Amazon announced this week that it would invest up to $4 billion in artificial intelligence company Anthropic as the AI arms race heats up.

"Our news today about Amazon's collaboration with Anthropic is important for Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations globally," said Dan Sheeran, general manager of healthcare and life science at AWS.

Healthtech startup Medreddie takes home the first Elevate Women+ Pitch Prize (BETAKIT)

The inaugural $450,000 Elevate Women + Pitch Prize at the Elevate Festival went to Kara LeBlanc from Medreddie, a Waterloo, Ont.-based startup healthtech and AI startup.

Medreddie’s AI-powered platform provides insights into the healthcare supply chain, improving patient outcomes and health system performance, according to the startup.

Perinatal and child registry data breach affects health info of 3 million Ontarians (TORONTO STAR)

An Ontario agency that collects data on pregnancies and births in the province says a cybersecurity breach earlier this year resulted in a leak of personal health information of approximately 3.4 million people.

Front Row Ventures closes over-subscribed $5.5-million CAD pan-Canadian fund (BETAKIT)

Front Row Ventures, the university student-led fund that invests in student-led startups, has closed $5.5 million for its first pan-Canadian fund.

Historically, Front Row Ventures has focused on investing in early-stage, student-led Canadian startups. The fund received $600,000 in 2017 from Real Ventures to invest in 24 student-led startups over the next four years.

Medical firm Adela raises US$48M investment to advance tech developed in Toronto (THE LOGIC)

The company is developing technology that will detect cancer from just a single blood sample, enabling early treatment of the disease. Adela’s headquarters is in California, but its tech was first developed by chief scientific officer Dr. Daniel De Carvalho at The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, and it maintains an office in the city.

Biogen shutters digital health group, nixes Apple study, as part of cost cuts (STAT)

Biogen, the iconic but embattled biotech firm, is shuttering Biogen Digital Health, its roughly 150-person group focused on using new types of data like those from mobile phones and smart watches, and ending a clinical trial being conducted with Apple early.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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