Today in funding ($59M): Atomwise, Parkbench, Showpass


Over the past week, several Canadian startups got a boost with rounds of funding. Here’s the latest on who raised how much, and from whom.

Atomwise raises $57 million CAD

Atomwise, which was originally based in the University of Toronto’s incubator before moving to Y Combinator, has raised $57 million CAD in a fresh Series A. The round was led by Monsanto Growth Ventures, DCVC (Data Collective), and B Capital Group, with participation from returning investors Y Combinator, Khosla Ventures, and DFJ, and new investors Baidu Ventures, Tencent, and Dolby Family Ventures.

Atomwise’s platform makes predictions about potential medicines before they are made, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming physical synthesis and testing. Its AtomNet drug research technology analyzes millions of potential medicines each day.

The company said that AtomNet has outperformed status quo technologies, identifying “active” hit compounds at a rate up to 10,000 times higher than the physical high-throughput screening methods it augments. Today, Atomwise screens more than 10 million compounds every day.

“With our initial work in 2012, Atomwise became the first startup to commercialize deep neural networks for drug discovery,” said Dr. Abraham Heifets, co-founder and CEO of Atomwise. “It seemed to many like science fiction then, but now in 2018, Atomwise has the commercial traction with a host of customers to demonstrate our leadership in AI for drug discovery.”

Over the past two years, Atomwise said it has has struck partnerships with four of the top ten US pharma companies, multiple biotech firms, and over 40 major research universities.

The round brings Atomwise’s total capital raised to more than $65 million CAD.

Parkbench receives $2 million investment facility

Toronto-based Parkbench has received a $2 millon investment facility from Vancouver-based TIMIA Capital.

The revenue-based financing facility includes a first disbursement of $1 million and a further $1 million to be disbursed upon certain milestones being met over the term of the agreement.

“We evaluated a number of finance options and TIMIA’s revenue-based finance model makes the most sense,” said Grant Findlay-Shirras, CEO of ParkBench. “We maintain control of the company versus traditional equity-based lenders and the capital infusion will help us grow our business.”

Parkbench’s platform acts as a prospecting tool for real estate agents and mortgage brokers. It produces a neighborhood-focused website that provides local information, and rents these website properties to local service providers — mainly real-estate agents — who become the “sponsors.” The sponsors then populate the site with content, and develop prospects through the process of generating content.

“Parkbench is driving more than 50 percent revenue growth on their topline, and in the right position to benefit from our revenue finance model,” said Mike Walkinshaw, CEO of TIMIA. “We have an extensive analytics platform and management process to evaluate potential investments, and Parkbench emerged as an exciting company with growth potential in which we’re happy to invest.”

Showpass receives undisclosed investment from BDC

Calgary-based Showpass, an event ticketing platform, has received undisclosed mezzanine funding from BDC.

Showpass currently serves over than 2,000 mid-size vent organizers throughout Canada. The platform allows its users to check out directly on their website, offer merchandise add-ons with tickets, and scan tickets at POS.

“This investment by BDC Capital will increase the growth capital available to Showpass as we continue to expand our mobile-focused event ticketing platform’s reach across Canada,” said Lucas McCarthy, CEO of Showpass. “We are excited to form a strong relationship with one of Canada’s leading players in the high-growth company space which amplifies our ability to give our customers more tools to truly increase their top and bottom lines, while also making check-in at events dead-simple for attendees.”

In January 2018, the company became an official event ticketing platform on Facebook.

“With more than 2,000 clients and a rapid growth curve, the market is taking notice of the innovations offered by Showpass,” said Vern Malcolm, director of growth and transition capital for southern Alberta at BDC Capital. “BDC Capital’s financing will allow the Company to continue to attract top technical and sales talent to its team and confidently move forward with its expansion plans.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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