Today in company updates: Influitive, 500px, Kindred Systems, GoFetch, Nymi


Startups in Toronto and Vancouver are making moves. Here is the latest in product launches, partnerships, and company milestones from Canadian tech companies.

Influitive launches Upshot to advance its advocate marketing platform

Toronto-based advocate marketing platform Influitive has announced the launch of Upshot, a new customer story generation tool, and advancements to its advocate marketing platform, AdvocateHub.

Upshot allows marketers to generate and spotlight authentic customer stories to help companies drive their relevant social proof. Through this tool, marketers can identify customers with authentic stories and speed up the story generation process to help companies promote their brands and products.

“We have cracked the code on efficient, authentic customer story generation. Upshot can craft stories that are more effective but with less hassle and at a lower cost,” said Mark Organ, founder and CEO of Influitive. “Many companies struggle to create the volume of stories required to influence potential buyers. The reality is that in today’s environment, companies need numerous stories for a diverse set of user types and use cases. Upshot enables a high volume of authentic stories for marketers.”

500px launches global photographer directory, collaborates with Adobe Stock

As part of its aim to help photographers increase their visibility, Toronto-based 500px has announced the launch of a global photographer directory. The company has also announced that it will collaborate with Adobe Stock to offer Adobe users access to 500px images in the Adobe Stock Premium collection.

According to 500px, the new directory, which is the latest addition to its photography-on-demand service, has 50,000 photographers from more than 11,000 locations representing 191 countries. It serves to give photographers the opportunity to connect directly with customers and set their own rates for offline work. Clients can search through photographer’s profiles based on location and speciality, and also view their availability, the equipment they use, and the languages they speak.

In addition to serving clients looking for talented photographers, 500px will use the new directory to find the right photographers for its custom photography assignments around the world.

“The Directory is a natural extension of our world-class photography-on-demand offerings, making 500px the go-to destination for global image buyers to find the right photographer for any custom job, large or small,” said Andy Yang, CEO of 500px. “Collaborating with Adobe Stock Premium means added exposure for our photographers as well.”

Kindred Systems hires former Walmart executive as COO

Vancouver-based artificial intelligence company Kindred Systems announced that it has hired former vice-president of operations at Walmart and One Kings Lane executive, Jim Liefer, to be its new COO.

Liefer, who has experience operations and technology development, will be responsible for executing Kindred’s first commercial product, as well as overseeing procurement, people operations, and finance.

“The skills and know-how Jim has developed throughout his career are precisely the broad operations and organizational expertise Kindred needs to begin quickly generating profitable sales,” said Geordie Rose, the CEO and co-founder of Kindred.

GoFetch introduces online dog sitting platform

Vancouver-based GoFetch, a marketplace that connects dog owners with trusted dog walkers and sitters, has announced the introduction of its online dog sitting platform, which it bills the “Airbnb for dogs.”

According to GoFetch, the startup is seeing an increase in visits and sitter applications from across Canada to its online platform. GoFetch’s platform allows care providers to sign up for a free listing to match to dog owners who are looking for dog-sitters and dog-walkers.

“There is a real opportunity to build a billion-dollar business and we feel very confident in doing it,” said Willson Cross, a co-founder of GoFetch. “We take the time and energy to ensure that we have a platform listing only the highest quality pet care providers, in addition to investing heavily in technology to create a positive experience for both owners and sitters.”

Nymi signs authentication partnership with Atos

Toronto-based wearable authentication devices developer Nymi has signed a partnership with managed services provider Atos for a new authentication method in its Evidian Enterprise SSO (Single Sign-On) solution.

Atos will be using the Nymi Band, a device that authenticates users’ identity by analyzing their heartbeat, to enable Always On Authentication. The Nymi Band will give Atos’ users a new way to securely access their data and critical applications through multi-factor authentication. Users will be able to authenticate themselves and stay authenticated, and securely communicate with authorized workstations.

“It is an entirely unique experience for end users. This innovative authentication will make the way they work simpler while guaranteeing company security,” said Louis-Marie Fouchard, the manager of the identity management product range at Atos. “Together, Atos and Nymi will be able to attain operational excellence, even in the most sensitive of fields, while continuing to offer optimal user convenience for their teams.”


Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.

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