Today in funding: Aquatic Informatics, Commerce.js, Simply Benefits


Three Canadian startups have announced fresh funding rounds to fuel their growth. Here’s the latest on who raised how much, from whom, and what they’ll be putting the new funds toward.

Aquatic Informatics raises $8 million in debt financing

Water data management and analytics startup Aquatic Informatics has received $8 million in debt financing from CIBC Innovation Banking.

The new funding will be used to support Aquatic Informatics’ strategic acquisitions.

Aquatic Informatics’ software aims to address critical water data management and analysis challenges for the environmental monitoring industry. The venture is backed by XPV Water Partners, a firm focused on water-related businesses. The new financing will be used to support upcoming strategic acquisitions for the Vancouver-based company.

“With this timely support from CIBC, Aquatic Informatics will be able to more rapidly extend its global reach in pursuit of our mission: to protect life with timely water information,” said Ed Quilty, CEO of Aquatic Informatics.

The company’s offering was developed to centralize data, streamline analysis, automate workflows, predict issues, share information, and guarantee regulatory compliance. Through these tools, Aquatic Informatics aims to help organizations efficiently deliver safe drinking water.

Aquatic Informatics customers include federal, provincial, and local government departments, hydropower operators, mining companies, academic groups and consulting organizations, who collect, manage and process large volumes of water quality and quantity data. Aquatic Informatics was named as a “Ready to Rocket” company in 2014.

Commerce.js raises $2.2 million CAD in first financing round

Headless e-commerce provider Commerce.js has raised $2.2 million CAD ($1.7 million USD) in its first round of funding. The round was led by Initialized Capital and received additional commitments from Global Founders Capital, Correlation Ventures, AngelPad, Palm Drive, and AVG Basecamp.

Commerce.js said the funds will be used to build out the company’s core team and scale the platform in order to support larger direct-to-consumer businesses. Commerce.js’s API-first platform is targeted toward developers and designers looking to create custom e-commerce experiences quickly.

The company considers itself an alternative to Magento or Shopify Plus, aiming to simplify e-commerce integration for developers into any platform, device, or tech stack. The company is based in Vancouver and its team currently sits at eight people.

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Headless e-commerce is an approach that separates the frontend design of e-commerce platforms from the backend infrastructure, to allow for more flexibility of full-stack e-commerce solutions when dealing with a complex set of business touchpoints.

“We’ve reduced the cognitive load for developers when integrating custom e-commerce, making it a viable tool for less experienced developers,” said Devan Koshal, co-founder and CEO of Commerce.js. “For businesses, this frees up the developers’ time to focus on more important things, spending less time on tedious e-commerce logic and maintenance.

Insurtech Simply Benefits raises $1 million

Simply Benefits, an Insurtech startup that calls itself a “one-stop-shop” for employee health benefits, has raised its first round of funding totalling $1 million.

The startup expects to grow its team by 15 to 20 employees by the end of 2020.

Investors were not disclosed, but a Simply Benefits spokesperson told BetaKit that the investors included “multiple private parties” and a strategic partner. Simply Benefits said the funding will be used to grow the company’s sales, development, and marketing teams, increase market share in Canada and expand the startup’s product and features.

Based out of Kelowna, British Columbia, Simply Benefits began production in late 2018 with a goal of modernizing the employee benefits and group retirement insurance industry. Its platform provides and manages health insurance for employees looking to take advantage of their workplace benefits.

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The startup has doubled its headcount in under three months and expects to grow its team by 15 to 20 employees by the end of 2020. Simply Benefits is also looking to grow its business in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto within the coming months.

Image courtesy Commerce.js

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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