Today in funding: Symend, TruLeaf, Beagle

Canadian companies from all over Canada have announced boosts in funding as the year comes to a close. Here’s the latest on who raised how much, and from whom.

TruLeaf raises $8.5-million equity-financing

Bible Hill, Nova Scotia-based TruLeaf has closed an $8.5 million equity finance round to continue developing its vertical farming technology.

TruLeaf has developed an indoor farming system that grows fresh plants for food and medicines anywhere in the world, regardless of environment. The company said that its system integrates growing technologies in a controlled environment to grow high quality, predictable yield, and clean plants.

Mike Durland, former CEO and Group Head of Scotiabank’s Global Banking and Markets division, led the funding round with a small group of strategic investors from Toronto. Durland and Neil Murdoch, former CEO of Connor, Clark & Lunn Capital Markets, will join TruLeaf’s board of directors.

“This new round of financing and the additions to our board will help us to expand the breadth of our product offerings and increase the number of markets that we serve,” said Gregg Curwin, president and CEO of TruLeaf. “Mike and Neil bring a high level of business acumen and strategic expertise that will help us scale our business.”

Symend raises $1 million seed funding

Calgary-based Symend, which is developing a platform meant to be less costly and more efficient for collecting delinquent debt, has raised $1 million in funding. The funding was raised largely by the founding partners, alongside angel investors.

The company says it’s the biggest raise of its kind for FinTech in Western Canada from angels in 2016. Founders Hanif Joshaghani, CEO, and Tiffany Kaminsky, CMO, along with CTO Joseph King will use the initial seed funding to build out their prototype, which will use a combination of automation, predictive analytics, and better positive collection tactics to help their pilot customers.

“We are very happy with our seed round raise. Our company has a launch valuation of $2.5 million, a great starting point for our investors who we want to thank for helping us kick-off,” said Joshaghani.

As the company builds out its platform, the initial focus will be on helping utility providers, telecoms, and unsecured credit card suppliers recoup their customer debt.

“This capital allows us to start rapidly building the technology for our first pilot customers. We are looking to bring a major telecoms provider and a utility company on as pilot customers in the first half of 2017, quickly scaling the system from there,” said Kaminsky.

Nextlaw Labs invests in Beagle

Kitchener-based Beagle, which uses AI to streamline the contract review process, has received an undisclosed investment from Palo Alto-based Nextlaw Labs.

Beagle’s platform highlights key information, providing a real-time collaboration platform that simplifies contract negotiation and finalization.

“We have seen a great deal of support from the Canadian investment community for the emerging legal tech industry and are thrilled to be working with Beagle, one of the most innovative tech companies in Canada,” said Dan Jansen, chief executive of Nextlaw Labs. “We see a prime opportunity to transpose Beagle’s self-service contract review model to fit within a Big Law client environment like Dentons. Tools like Beagle are an efficiency boost for transactional legal teams, translating into significant cost savings for Dentons’ clients worldwide.” Dentons attorneys in selected transactional practice areas will initially pilot Beagle software in Canada and the UK.

Nextlaw Labs is a business accelerator focused specifically on investing in legaltech. In Canada, the accelerator has also invested in ROSS Intelligence (Canada), a developer that leverages IBM Watson-powered cognitive computing to refine expert legal research.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.