Today in funding: PolicyMe, Version One, WELL Health, ColdBlock

version one

Four Canadian organizations 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.

Version One Ventures closes $25 million for opportunity fund

Vancouver-based Version One Ventures has launched an opportunity fund, with $25 million CAD in commitments. An opportunity fund is a pool of capital that allows a VC firm to continue investing in its portfolio companies once the firm’s core funds have depleted their follow-on reserves.

The mandate of Version One’s fund is to invest in the most successful companies from its first two funds.

The mandate of Version One’s fund is to invest in the most successful companies from its first two funds, and is aimed to give Version One a chance to maintain strong relationships with its portfolio companies. The firm will make five to seven investments out of the new fund, according to GeekWire.

Version One typically writes checks between $500,000 to $750,000 for early-stage startups in the marketplace, artificial intelligence, and SaaS sectors. The firm focuses most of its investments in Vancouver, Silicon Valley, the Toronto-Waterloo region, and Seattle. The firm closed its third fund, totalling $57 million CAD, in 2018.

PolicyMe raises $3.3 million seed round

PolicyMe, an Insurtech startup that helps customers navigate the insurance buying process, has raised a $3.3 million CAD seed round.

The round was co-led by Consorcio – HCS Capital and Westdale Properties. The funds will be used to improve PolicyMe’s life insurance buying process with new technology and financial literacy tools.

“PolicyMe has taken all the right steps to become a leading digital player.”

PolicyMe’s online platform provides a digital experience for customers to navigate the entire insurance buying process, helping Canadians receive tailored advice, compare quotes, and apply for life insurance.

“The life insurance space is ripe for disruption, and PolicyMe has taken all the right steps to become a leading digital player,” said Luis Felipe San Martin, managing partner of HCS Capital. “By offering personalized and honest advice, along with a seamless customer experience, Andrew and his team are laying the foundation for what we expect to be the future of the industry.”

A spokesperson from PolicyMe told BetaKit this is the startup’s first institutional raise, and that its only other raise was a family and friends round. The company was founded by Andrew Ostro, Laura McKay, and Jeff McKay in 2018, and is based in Toronto.

WELL Health raises $10 million CAD private placement

WELL Health Technologies, a Vancouver-based healthtech startup that provides electronic medical record (EMR) software services to Canadian clinics, has closed a $10 million CAD private placement.

The startup entered into the deal with an undisclosed Canadian institutional investor, which subscribed to $10 million in convertible debentures. WELL Health said the profits from the private placement will be used for upcoming acquisitions, organic growth investments, working capital, and general corporate purposes.

“Given the current market backdrop and the fact that a substantial majority of our last convertible note has already been successfully exercised, we felt it was prudent to raise additional capital at this time,” said Hamed Shahbazi, chairman and CEO of WELL Health.

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WELL Health was founded in 2010 and uses technologies like patient engagement tools, precision medicine, and artificial intelligence, to improve the primary healthcare experience for patients and physicians.

In 2019, the company acquired four EMR providers, including KAI Innovations. Last week, the startup launched its telehealth platform, VirtualClinic+, and more recently, initiated a tool for influenza surveillance with McMaster University and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

ColdBlock raises $250,000

ColdBlock Technology, which creates sample digestion technology that dissolves a sample into a solution by adding acids and heating, has received a $250,000 CAD investment.

The investment was raised from istarthub, an accelerator program for seed-stage companies. istarthub is a division of US-based Cross Border Angels and Experts (CBA). The investment will be used by ColdBlock to accelerate global growth plans.

“We expect that the investment will play a key role in accelerating ColdBlock’s growth and elevating its business to the next stage of maturity,” said Ashwin Sanzgiri, program director of istarthub acceleration programs. “The capital infusion is the first amongst several strategic resources planned through the program.”

ColdBlock’s sample digesters service mining and metals, environmental, food, agriculture, and pharmaceutical industries. The company is headquartered in St. Catharines, Ont. and has sold its sample digestion technology in more than 13 countries.

The startup is currently expanding its distributor and sales agent model to grow its global market presence. The company previously raised more than $2 million CAD through its founders, various angel groups, and family offices across Canada.

Image courtesy Version One Ventures

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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