Meet the Y Combinator Summer 2023 cohort startups with Canadian connections

Y Combinator
Participants include Decoda Health, Greenlite, LifestyleRX, Spine AI, Tempo Labs, Terminal, and VaultPay.

Seven Canadian-affiliated tech startups are participating in Y Combinator’s Summer 2023 Demo Day: Decoda Health, Greenlite, LifestyleRX, Spine AI, Tempo Labs, Terminal, and VaultPay.

As part of the Silicon Valley-based accelerator’s 37th Demo Day, around 200 companies from around the world are set to pitch their businesses to a select group of investors and media Sept. 6–7.

This time around, seven of those participants have a strong connection to Canada. That total is roughly on par with the country’s representation in Y Combinator’s previous two cohorts: six Canadian-affiliated firms took part in the accelerator’s Winter 2023 Demo Day, while five participated in Summer 2022.

Here’s more on the Canada-based and Canadian-founded tech startups in Y Combinator’s latest cohort:

Decoda Health

Decoda Health is developing an autonomous medical coding and billing solution. Using artificial intelligence (AI), the startup aims to turn clinician notes into claims.

Based in San Francisco, Decoda Health was founded by two Canadians: Daniyal Afzal, who previously held operations and capital markets roles at FinTech firms Jeeves and Revolut, and Kevin Cheng, an ex-data platform engineer at AI-focused American healthtech firm Enlitic.

Through its tech, Decoda Health hopes to help medical clinics save money in coding costs, reduce claim denials, and cut claim processing time “from days to seconds.”


Canadian-founded, San Francisco-based Greenlite aims to replace outsourced anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-client (KYC) analysts with its workforce of AI agents.

Launched earlier this year by a pair of Canadians, CEO Will Lawrence and CTO Alex Jin, Greenlite bills itself as “an AI compliance team for every FinTech” to help companies scale their financial crime prevention operations. Prior to launching Greenlite, Lawrence led product for Facebook’s AML platform, while Jin worked in product and engineering roles at Dropbox.

According to Greenlite, FinTech firms and banks use Greenlite’s agents to automate workflows like suspicious activity investigations, entity due diligence, and regulatory reporting.


White Rock, BC-based healthtech startup LifestyleRX delivers insurance-covered virtual care for Type 2 Diabetes. Through its platform, the company connects patients with doctors who guide them through lifestyle changes the company claims can reverse diabetes.

LifestyleRX was founded in 2022 by four former healthtech founders who have previously built and exited electronic medical records businesses in Canada: Brendan Byrne (chief medical officer), Jack Hilliard (COO), Jason Kerkvliet (CEO), and Daniel Pfingstgraef (CTO).

LifestyleRX, which hopes to generate better results than existing employer-facing diabetes management apps, currently has 2,000 patients participating in its program and LifestyleRX claims to be adding 500 more every month.

Spine AI

Canadian-founded, San Francisco-based Spine AI aims to help companies build and maintain AI copilots for their products more quickly and efficiently.

AI copilots can enable customers of enterprise SaaS products to specify their intent using a chat interface, bypassing the limitations of existing user interfaces. However, developing reliable AI copilots can require a significant investment of time and resources, and extensive AI and engineering expertise.

Enter Spine AI, which was launched by two Canadians—CEO Akshay Budhkar, ex-AI technical lead at Toronto’s Georgian, and Ashwin Venkatesh Raman, a former software engineer at Amazon and Instacart.

Tempo Labs

Toronto’s Tempo Labs is developing an AI design tool like Figma for editing any React codebase. The startup wants to make it possible for anyone to generate and edit React code using natural language prompts and a visual code editor.

Tempo Labs was founded by CEO Kevin Michael and CTO Peter Gokhshteyn, a pair of early engineering leaders at Toronto-based e-commerce adtech firm Perpetua, which was acquired by UK-based Ascential in 2021 for over $100 million USD.

Through its tool, Tempo Labs aims to allow developers to focus on writing business logic rather than CSS, enable designers to ship quality user interfaces without engineering, and help teams move more quickly by eliminating the design-to-code translation process.


Toronto-based Terminal describes itself as “Plaid for telematics data in commercial trucking.” The startup is building an application programming interface (API) to enable companies developing insurance products and fleet software for trucking to access GPS data, speeding data, and vehicle stats.

Terminal is led by CEO Raghav Midha and CTO Connor Giles, who previously held product and engineering leadership roles at Canadian-founded, New York-based neobank NorthOne.

With NorthOne, the pair said they learned how Plaid and Stripe supported the FinTech ecosystem. When Giles saw a need for similar infrastructure in transportation from his experience developing tech for his family’s logistics business, he decided to team up with Midha to launch Terminal.


VaultPay wants to enable financial institutions to transform local businesses into bank agents by providing core payment infrastructure for Central Africa.

The Congolese FinTech startup aims to help customers access their earnings and shop at the same store, giving clients more convenience while also cutting costs for banks.

VaultPay was founded by Canadians in CEO Ntambwa Basambombo, previously a software engineer at Airbnb, and CFO Christel Ilaka, a former data analyst, technical solutions, and developer relations engineer with Google.

Feature image courtesy Y Combinator.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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