Montréal startup Nolk, which offers a data and analytics platform for e-commerce brands, has raised $30 million CAD in Series A funding.
The all-equity round, which closed in July, was led by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, with participation from Fondaction, Export Development Canada, Panache Ventures, and a number of undisclosed private investors.
Nolk said that the capital will mainly be allocated towards acquisitions, with a portion of it going to continued investments in technology and working capital. The startup recently completed its acquisitions of fellow Montréal companies Ergonofis and Opposite Wall.
Alexandre Renaud, CEO of Nolk, told BetaKit that the Series A round was used to finance Ergonofis and Opposite Wall’s acquisitions, which closed on October 1 and July 28 respectively. He declined to disclose how much of the $30 million was used to fund these transactions, though he said it’s a mix of cash upfront, earn-out, seller financing, and a portion of stock swap into Nolk.
Since launching in 2018, Nolk now owns and operates 11 brands.
Led by Samuel Finn (CEO) and Kimberly Pontbriand (chief brand officer), Ergonofis offers a range of office furniture and accessories, claiming that the vast majority of its products are built locally in Canada. Opposite Wall is a home decor and design studio that sells art prints, oak and metal frames, wallpapers, decals and accessories. It has more than 2000 posters on its online store, with an average of two new art collections added per month.
Existing leadership from Ergonofis and Opposite Wall will remain in their current positions to continue leading the separate brands. This includes Ergonofis co-founders Finn and Pondbriand, as well as Erik Rydingsvard, CEO of Opposite Wall. According to Nolk, the brands are expected to benefit from shared resources and a common technological base.
Since launching in 2018, Nolk now owns and operates 11 brands. The company made a series of acquisitions last year, including Kitchener-based outdoor equipment brand Wolf and Grizzly, as well as Montréal clothing company From Rachel.
With most of Nolk’s brand companies operating in the home goods segment, Renaud told BetaKit that the sector had a boom in new brand creation in the past decade that needs to be regrouped and amplified. Using the data from GeniusWire, Nolk found that “there’s less big dominant players in household goods, it’s really fragmented, and that’s where we can make an impact on consumption.”
Nolk said that it relies on “advanced technologies, innovative acquisition techniques, data science, and operational expertise to propel its brands to rapid growth.” In working towards this goal, Nolk has developed GeniusWire, a data platform designed to support discovery and growth of e-commerce brands through performance metrics and analytics insights.
Dany Pelletier, executive vice-president of private equity and impact investing at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, pointed out Nolk’s focus on environmental, social, and governance values, explaining that the company’s e-commerce model gives a “second wind” into the products of local and overseas companies.
“With the Fonds’s investment, Nolk will have the capacity to invest in new companies to develop its market and its growth,” Pelletier said.
Featured image from Ergonofis’ Facebook page.