Today in funding: ICwhatUC, Emma


Two Canadian startups have announced fresh funding 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.

Calgary-based ICwhatUC closes $680,000 pre-seed round

ICwhatUC is a Calgary-based startup that has developed a self-service support application that uses augmented reality through shared smartphone video to simplify customer-driven repairs. The startup has raised a $680,000 CAD pre-seed round.

“Consumers are changing their expectations for how service is delivered.”

The round was led by a group of undisclosed angel investors, former utility and construction executives, and Silicon Valley-based B2B accelerator fund Acceleprise. The funding will be used to scale ICwhatUC’s team and expansion efforts across North America.

“Our whole goal is to reimagine the way field service is delivered,” said CEO Guillermo Salazar. “The way customers experience home and field service hasn’t changed in decades. Consumers are changing their expectations for how service is delivered.”

Co-founders Salazar, Luke Krueger, and Danny Way launched ICwhatUC in the fall of 2018 aiming to change the way home and field service work is delivered. Frustrated with phone-based troubleshooting and lengthy wait times at home for service calls, the team sought out to create a more effective way of delivering customer-driven repairs.

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“We think that using augmented reality markup with real-time advice from experts will let homeowners and field service workers get the advice and direction they need to solve problems quickly, with little friction while dramatically reducing cost and risk for companies,” Salazar said.

Quebec Insurtech startup Emma raises $543,000 seed round

Emma, a Montreal-based FinTech startup that offers life insurance, has raised $543,000 in seed funding. Participants in the round include Humania Assurance, which contributed $300,000, and four angel investors that invested a cumulative $243,000.

The investment will be used to help Emma build its life insurance product and to expand across Canada. The company is launching its product in Ontario on June 22, and plans to launch throughout the rest of Canada by the end of the third quarter of this year.

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Founded in 2017 and launched in 2018, Emma has built a web application to buy life insurance via chat. The software is designed to give busy, young parents a quick and fully digital way to purchase life insurance.

According to research from the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association, approximately 30 percent of Canadians currently lacking any form of life insurance coverage. Emma claimed it has helped over 40,000 families in Canada purchase life insurance to date with Emma Life Insurance and the 15 other insurance companies the startup distributes to.

Image source ICwhatUC.

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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