Today in funding: JobBliss, Casalova, Anomera


This week, startups all across Canada got a boost with rounds of funding. Here’s the latest on who raised how much, and from whom.

JobBliss secures angel investment and OCE SmartStart grant

Toronto-based JobBliss, a platform that enables companies to find and manage freelance talent, has announced that it has raised its first round of funding.

The undisclosed funding was provided by a Toronto-based angel investor, and also includes a SmartStart grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The grant awards up to $30,000 for startups founded by entrepreneurs over 30 years old.

“As an experienced executive in digital innovation, strategy, and creative direction, I’ve worked with a variety of freelancers and contractors throughout my career. What struck me is how much easier and effective freelancer collaboration could be,” said Angie Kramer, founder and CEO of JobBliss. “Freelancers want to build viable careers by finding more work. Companies need to be more agile than ever, and require flexible, specialized talent. JobBliss makes these company-contractor interactions affordable and efficient through a centralized solution.”

In 2014, JobBliss was the lone Canadian company out of ten at the Women 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

Casalova receives $2.5 million investment from Aviva Ventures

Toronto-based Casalova, an end-to-end real estate marketplace and licensed brokerage, has received a $2.5 million investment from Aviva Ventures. This investment is a first in the Canadian market for Aviva Ventures outside of the UK.

“A digital first strategy – which is an Aviva mandate globally – means more than a ‘state of the art’ website,” said Ben Isotta-Riches, Chief Information Officer at Aviva Canada. “A true digital focus means looking beyond our industry and partnering with start-ups offering new and creative experiences that add value for our customers and theirs.”

Aviva Ventures kicked off its search for high-potential Canadian digital startups with its first-ever Aviva Pitch Day in Toronto, and heard from a short-listed group of 10 start-ups vying for their share in a potential $10 million investment.

Last month, Casalova partnered with Dream Maker Developments to allow homebuyers to purchase a pre-construction condo completely online.

Anomera raises $1.67 million CAD for first round

Montreal-based Anomera, a company which converts forest industry pulp waste into bio-products, announced that it has raised $1.67 million CAD ($1.25 million USD) for its first round.

Anomera’s first focus is on “natural cellulose” ingredients with enhanced performance for the cosmetic and skin care markets. Funds raised from the round will be used to recruit talent and accelerate product development and sustainable manufacturing scale-up of ingredients.

“With our launch, Anomera is in a unique position to offer the cosmetics industry ingredients that not only compete with, or outperform, conventional ingredients, but ingredients that also break the paradigm of one-size-fits-all,” said Anomera’s founder and CTO Dr. Mark Andrews. “We do this with a focus on certification and compliance to make superbly performing ingredients that are sensitive to the public demand for environmentally-conservative, naturally-sourced materials that bring value to cosmetics and skin care products.”

Photo via JobBliss


Madonna Dennis

Madonna Dennis is a staff writer at BetaKit. She’s a fourth-year journalism student interested in healthtech. She’s passionate about tight-knit teams working together, which is why she’s so fascinated by startup culture. Madonna’s hobbies include dragon boating, singing, and hosting a YouTube show about cat news.

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