Shinydocs, Encircle, Proto receive cumulative $7.5 million from FedDev Ontario

The investment into the three Kitchener-Waterloo startups is expected to create 75 jobs.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has announced a cumulative investment of $7.5 million CAD into three tech companies based in Kitchener-Waterloo.

FedDev Ontario claims to have invested over $745 million in more than 300 technology projects across southern Ontario, creating nearly 20,000 jobs.

From this funding, Shinydocs secured $4 million, Encircle received $2.1 million, and Proto Research got $1.4 million (all numbers CAD). According to FedDev Ontario, this investment will help these companies enhance their technologies and increase sales, with an expectation that it will lead to the creation of 75 jobs across the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

Founded in 2013 by CEO Jason Cassidy, Shinydocs offers a digital information management software that automates the process of finding and identifying files, media content, and documents within an organization’s repositories.

Shinydocs said that receiving this investment from FedDev Ontario, which was made through the Jobs and Growth Fund, will be used to bolster its digital storage solution that helps users find key information and protect against cybersecurity breaches.

Working towards this goal, Shinydocs claims that it has completed 33 of the 40 hires it planned to make to support its human resources, marketing, product, sales, customer support, as well as research and development departments.

Led by CEO Paul Donald, Encircle provides digital tools for the property insurance industry. Its mobile app was designed for field technicians to easily document a restoration job using one platform, allowing users to upload photos, videos, sketches, notes, and signatures.

FedDev Ontario’s contribution, which was also made through the Jobs and Growth fund, will help the company to improve its claims software allowing adjusters to monitor multiple claims in real-time, according to Encircle. To do this, Encircle said it plans to expand its presence in key export markets and create 20 jobs.

RELATED: Accelerator Centre secures $10 million from FedDev Ontario for venture studio program

SaaS company Proto develops multilingual chatbots powered by artificial intelligence to serve clients in the financial, government, energy, health, and gaming sectors. The technology is deployed in over 13 countries, including Cambodia, Ghana, India, Mexico, Nigeria, the Philippines, Rwanda, Uganda, and Vietnam. Proto claims that it has served around 2,250 companies.

Proto raised $5.6 million in Series A financing in July led by Mucker Capital with participation from current shareholder Yolo Investments. BetaKit reached out to confirm whether the FedDev investment was part of the Series A round and Proto declined to provide comment. Proto previously told BetaKit that there were no additional investors in the Series A funding besides Mucker Capital and Yolo Investments.

“This contribution from FedDev Ontario, together with Proto’s recent $5.6 million capital raise, will enable us to accelerate our machine learning and revenue expansion capabilities in multiple emerging markets at once,” said Proto CEO Curtis Matlock in the press release.

In addition to its head office in Canada, Proto has offices in Panama City, London (United Kingdom), Kigali, and Taipei.

Since 2015, FedDev Ontario claims to have invested over $745 million in more than 300 technology projects across southern Ontario, creating nearly 20,000 jobs. In terms of Kitchener-Waterloo investments, this includes $10 million for the Waterloo Accelerator Centre to launch the Venture Studio Innovation Program. Last year, FedDev Ontario committed $10 million towards the creation of a new University of Waterloo and Western University-based healthtech innovation hub.

In 2020, FedDev Ontario invested nearly $30 million into eight Waterloo Region-based companies, including Axonify, Onward Manufacturing Company, Dejero Labs, Intellijoint Surgical, and Ssimwave, which was recently acquired by IMAX in a deal worth $28.3 million.

Featured image from Encircle’s website.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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