Poka raises $10 million to be the messaging platform for factories

Poka

Quebec City-based Poka has raised a $10 million in a round led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec through its fund Espace CDPQ.

The round includes Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the Leclerc family, and original seed investors iNovia Capital and Uncork Capital.

Poka’s mobile and web app is targeted to factories, allowing employees to capture and share critical information in real-time on the factory floor. The goal is to create a standardized multimedia guide and training content on specific machines and stations, allowing new employees to get better insight into their work. At the same time, employees can better communicate problems on the floor and reduce downtime.

“Multiple trends including an aging workforce and increased automation are converging right now to cause a skills gap,” said CEO and co-founder Alex Leclerc. “Poka addresses these challenges by accelerating employee onboarding and improving knowledge sharing in the new Smart Factory era.”

Back when BetaKit profiled the company last year, co-founder Antoine Bisson described it as an internal Facebook. Since then, it’s worked with companies like Thomas & Betts, ArcelorMittal, WestRock, and Danone.

“As the industrial sector is undergoing rapid changes, manufacturers must leverage new ideas and technologies to stay competitive. Poka’s solutions help manufacturers improve their performance and achieve the digital sophistication that is now necessary to stand out,” said Christian Dubé, la Caisse’s EVP in Quebec. “We are proud to support innovative companies like Poka in their development and international expansion.”

To date, the company has raised $17 million.

Photo courtesy Le Soleil, Erick Labbé