Today in funding: Hopper, Medgate, SkySquirrel, Ubique Networks

SkySquirrel

A wide diversity of companies all across Canada managed to raise some funding in this week’s roundup. Here’s the latest on who raised how much, and from whom.

SkySquirrel closes $1 million investment

Halifax-based SkySquirrel, which creates drones that monitor crop health, has raised $1 million in funding as it looks to enter new markets.

The funding includes $500,000 investment from Innovacorp, Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization, and $500,000 from an undisclosed Ontario-based private investor.

“This investment will let us ramp up to launch the next-generation of our product before the current year’s growing season is in full swing,” said Richard Van der Put, SkySquirrel co-founder and CEO. “We’ll also be able to hit the gas on pursuing new customers in the US and Europe.”

SkySquirrel’s drones uses the crop data it collects to detect diseases in the early stages and help farmers understand how to improve growing conditions. Its initial focus is on the global wine market, as it helps vineyards improve crop yields and reduce costs — and detect viruses like leafroll disease and flavescence doree, which requires farmers to tear out the infected vines before the disease spreads to the entire field.

The company is already selling its products in Canada, France, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, and China, and has signed a partnership agreement with VineView, an industry leader from California that gives SkySquirrel exclusive access to unique image processing capabilities for disease detection in vineyards.

Medgate announces undisclosed strategic investment from Norwest Venture Partners

Toronto-based Medgate, which provides SaaS-based Environmental, Health, Safety (EHS) risk management solutions, has received an undisclosed investment from Palo Alto-based growth equity firm Norwest Venture Partners.

Georgian Partners, which focuses on investing in expansion-stage software companies, and BMO Financial Group also participated in the round.

“Today’s significant investment from Norwest is a testament to our leading position in the EHS market, dedication to customer satisfaction, product innovation, award-winning employee engagement, and sustained profitable growth over many years,” said Mark Wallace, CEO of Medgate. “The Norwest and Georgian teams are uniquely equipped to help take our company to the next level due to their deep industry expertise and strategic resources.”

Medgate’s EHS risk managament solutions allows users to capture and track corporate data to help reach performance goals and enhance corporate productivity. Megate said that it will use the funding for further product expansion, analytics innovation, and strategic acquisitions to accelerate growth.

Norwest’s Rob Arditi and Jon Kossow, Georgian Partners’ Steve Leightell, and industry veteran Shanti Atkins of NAVEX Global will join Medgate CEO Mark Wallace on the board of directors.

Hopper raises $16 million

According to a blog post, Montreal and Boston-based Hopper raised $16 million in a growth funding round led by BDC Capital IT Venture Fund, in addition to existing investors OMERS Ventures, Accomplice (formerly Atlas Venture) and Brightspark Ventures, bringing its total funding to $38 million.

The funding will be used to fuel Hopper’s continued growth and support its hiring efforts as it look sto expand the team Montreal and Cambridge.

Hopper’s mobile app uses big data to predict and analyze airfare to get the best deal on flights, and the company also announced that American Airlines fares will now also be available through the Hopper app.

Ubique Networks raises undisclosed pre-series A

Sydney, Nova Scotia-based Ubique Networks, which develops a network intelligence and optimization platform to create a lagless multiplayer gaming experience, has raised an undisclosed pre-Series A round of funding.

The company secured investment from Toronto-based Extreme Venture Partners, and Innovacorp.

“The multiplayer online games and the e-sports sectors are growing rapidly but both the publishers and the gamers want drastic reduction in lag, and that is what we are providing,” said Vijai Karthigesu, founder and CEO of Ubique. “This funding will enable us to build out our user base, increase our production output and meet our global customer demands.”

Ubique creates a proprietary “lag sensing” Swarmio technology platform to reduce lag through dynamic optimization of game servers, which then offers online gamers a level playing field, regardless of location or internet performance. Swarmio also hosts an intelligent lobby system for multiplayer and e-sports games.

We see a huge potential in the dynamic optimization technology developed by Ubique,” said Ray Sharma, executive managing partner of EVP, which specializes in funding for mobile, big data and Internet of Things (IOT) related firms. “There are more than 700 million people around the world playing multiplayer online games or engaged in e-sports and the numbers are growing.”