Today in funding: Dapper Labs, FleetOps, Plurilock, Fortai


Four 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.

Dapper Labs raises $12 million from NBA stars, Samsung, Coinbase

Vancouver-based Dapper Labs, the blockchain startup behind CryptoKitties, has raised a $16 million CAD ($12 million USD) convertible note.

Dapper Labs will use the funding to help scale its Flow blockchain, launched last year.

The financing was raised from a number of players from the National Basketball Association (NBA), including Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, Spencer Dinwiddie, Garrett Temple, and Aaron Gordon. Notably, Dapper Labs also partnered with the NBA last year to jointly develop a digital platform for basketball fans to collect, trade, and own memorable NBA moments on blockchain.

Other investors include Samsung, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, and Coinbase Ventures, among others. Dapper Labs will use the new funding to help scale its Flow blockchain, announced last year when it raised $14.5 million in financing, and to support previously announced collaborations with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Warner Music, and the UFC.

CryptoKitties, which is a blockchain game on Ethereum developed by Axiom Zen, allows players to purchase, collect, breed, and sell virtual cats. Founded in February 2018, Dapper Labs was spun out of Axiom Zen and has raised $51.05 million USD to date.

FleetOps raises $6 million in seed funding

FleetOps, a Toronto-based data startup in the freight industry, has raised $6 million in seed funding. The round was co-led by Inspired Capital and Resolute Ventures, with participation from Hike Ventures, Basecamp Fund, Newark Venture Partners, BCF Ventures, Panache Ventures, and Brian Thomas of RwE Growth Partners.

The company plans to use the funds to deploy its technology and dataset globally. Founded in 2017 by Chris Atkinson, FleetOps is a freight marketplace that matches truck drivers with shipment opportunities using vehicle data and artificial intelligence. In addition to the funding, FleetOps recently announced partnerships with Loadsmart, project44, and Shipwell, which all operate across the freight industry.

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“We have spent years in the logistics space and believe that the largest industry hurdle is not tech adoption, but tech and data aggregation,” said Chris Atkinson, founder and CEO of FleetOps. “We are partnering with brokers and [electronic logging device] providers who are aiming to gain a competitive advantage.”

In May, the startup received $500,000 from the Quebec-based Scale AI supercluster for a project that involved Careteam Technologies and FleetOps creating a digital platform aimed to support vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plurilock to receive $120,000 from NRC IRAP

Plurilock Security Solutions, a Victoria-based startup developing authentication solutions for enterprises, is set to receive $120,000 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) for a research and development project.

“This non-dilutive funding supports our current research and development goals at Plurilock.”

The funding is intended to support the development of passwordless authentication solutions that can be used for commercial, enterprise, and regulated cybersecurity applications. The initiative is intended to eventually allow users to log in to computing systems without having to perform login steps of any kind-no usernames, passwords, USB insertions, or fingerprint and face scans.

“This non-dilutive funding supports our current research and development goals at Plurilock,” said Ian Paterson, CEO of Plurilock. “The behavioural biometrics and machine learning technologies at the heart of Plurilock products have always logically pointed toward a passwordless experience, and we’re excited that support from NRC IRAP will enable our effort to ultimately bring that experience to market.”

Plurilock’s product suite uses behavioural biometrics and AI to provide authentication, rather than login-based authentication. Users are continuously authenticated as they work based on patterns in their keystrokes and mouse movements.

Mining tech start-up Fortai raises $250,000 seed round

Mining technology startup Fortai raised a $250,000 seed round led by the Sudbury Catalyst Fund and several angel investors.

The company will use the funds to continue development on Admmit, an autonomous mobile inventory platform. Fortai is the first startup to receive funding through the Sudbury Catalyst Fund, a $5 million seed capital co-investment fund that was launched earlier this year to specifically grow tech startups.

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“We are grateful for the support and confidence that the Sudbury Catalyst Fund investment committee has placed in Fortai,” said Trang Tran-Valade, president of Fortai. “The investment from the Sudbury Catalyst Fund, combined with matching funds from local angel investors, will allow Fortai to accelerate our growth and quickly reach new markets.”

Fortai’s Admmit platform is an autonomous mobile inventory management system that tracks, delivers, and manages material movement in real-time, from purchase to consumption. Fortai has also developed a customizable and mine-ready container called the SmartCube, which works in conjunction with the Admmit platform.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Shane McLendon.

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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