Today in funding: Medzy, Rapid Novor, Byta, VodaSafe


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.

Rapid Novor raises $6.6 million CAD Series A

Kitchener-Waterloo-based Rapid Novor, a startup that works on antibody protein sequencing, has raised a $6.6 million CAD ($5 million USD) Series A round of financing.

Rapid Novor recently received funding from NRC-IRAP for COVID-19 research.

The Series A round was led by Co-Win Venture, while other investors were not disclosed. The investment will accelerate the company’s growth in technological and clinical development as it looks to decode the human immune system.

The new financing will also be used to double the Rapid Novor team size in the next two years, which is being supported by an additional 11,000 square-feet of space in Kitchener-Waterloo’s Catalyst137 building.

“Our technology development is at the tipping point to make direct decoding of the antibody-mediated immune response a reality,” said Mingjie Xie, CEO of Rapid Novor. “While the importance of antibodies in immunity is well understood, there is currently no other technology available to directly sequence and profile antibody proteins from blood. Our technology fills this void.”

Founded in 2015, Rapid Novor has developed a proprietary technology to sequence antibodies directly from protein samples and blood. The startup claims its technology is already helping hundreds of scientists around the globe.

Recently, the startup received undisclosed federal government funding under the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to discover therapeutic antibodies from the blood of convalescent COVID-19 patients using its sequencing technology.

Digital pharmacy startup Medzy secures $2 million

Québec-based digital pharmacy platform Medzy has closed a $2 million investment. Investors and the stage of the financing were not disclosed by the startup.

Founded in 2019 by Francis Valois and Sonia Boutin, the Medzy platform connects patients with pharmacists. The investment will be used to expand Medzy’s technology beyond Montréal to all of Québec, and improve the patient experience of their affiliate pharmacy. The startup is also adding new offerings, including same-day delivery and family management, through its upcoming mobile app.

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“More than 50 percent of patients who take more than two medications per day do not follow the treatment as prescribed,” said Boutin. “Medzy’s technology enables pharmacists to provide a proactive, personalized pharmacy experience to patients.”

Byta raises $1.9 million CAD seed round

Calgary-based Byta has raised a $1.9 million seed round. The company says it has developed a new way for anyone to privately send and receive digital audio.

Byta’s claims its users range from bedroom artists to the largest record companies in the world.

The round was led by the Canada Media Fund and a number of individual investors, including musician Scott Kannberg. The funding will be used to invest in Byta’s upcoming initiatives for up-and-coming artists, including its new non-profit HowWeListen Education.

Founded in 2015 by CEO Marc Brown, Byta allows anyone to send and receive digital audio in a simple and secure way. The startup claims its users and customers range from bedroom artists to the largest record companies in the world.

VodaSafe raises $1.4 million in seed financing from Vanedge

VodaSafe, a Vancouver-based safety device startup that has developed a hand-held scanning sonar tool for water-based search and rescue, has closed $1.4 million in seed financing.

The round was led by Vanedge Capital, with participation from the Business Development Bank of Canada. The funding will be used to help VodaSafe further expand the availability of AquaEye throughout Canada and the United States.

RELATED: Laurier University students raises $1 million for road-safety, impairment device startup

“We are on a mission to make the difficult process of water rescue and recovery as quick, simple and effective as possible,” said Carlyn Loncaric, founder and CEO of VodaSafe. “We built this technology from the ground up because every second counts in a water rescue situation. AquaEye enables rescuers to quickly assess a scene and identify potential victims within seconds of entering the water.”

A hand-held sonar device, AquaEye uses ultrasound and artificial intelligence technologies, and is aimed to provide an improved water rescue response. VodaSafe says AquaEye is specifically designed to be portable, durable, and easy to use for emergency response teams to aid in the rescue and recovery of missing persons.

Feature image courtesy VodaSafe.

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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