US companies Avanade, Nautical Commerce, Twilio, Dealpath plot Canadian expansions

All four plan to conduct a hiring spree amid a growing number of global tech layoffs.

Four international companies have announced moves to expand in Canada, with plans to ramp up their hiring efforts across the country.

“Every major city in this country is brimming with entrepreneurship, innovation and engineering talent.”
– Dino Marasco, Twilio Canada VP and GM

This week, US-based Avanade, Nautical Commerce, Twilio, and Dealpath laid out their intentions to bolster their existing Canadian teams.

Avanade is launching an engineering hub in Halifax, in addition to its existing hubs in Toronto and Vancouver. Following an agreement with Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI), Avanade aims to recruit over 300 people over the next two years for its Halifax location. The company noted that additional locations will be announced in the coming months.

Created in 2000 by Accenture and Microsoft, Avanade provides digital, cloud, and advisory services as well as industry solutions across the Microsoft ecosystem. Avanade claims that it has an employee base of over 56,000 people that are located across 26 different countries.

Avanade said it has over 800 employees in Canada, dispersed across its head office in Toronto, as well as Ottawa, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and its new engineering hub in Halifax. A spokesperson for Avanade told BetaKit that its Toronto engineering hub currently has a team of 130, and the Vancouver hub has 40.

After commissioning a comprehensive assessment study from Everest Group, Avanade said it chose Halifax for its high ranking in a variety of categories, such as availability of skilled talent and an employable graduate pool in IT and engineering. The company also cited that the city is home to top educational institutions, government support, and quality of life.

As part of its long-term investment and commitment in the local Halifax community, Avanade has partnered with Saint Mary’s University to establish a STEM mentorship and sponsorship program. The company will also be teaming up with Digital Nova Scotia and is part of the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship mentorship program.

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Nautical, which is split between New York and Toronto, has raised $30 million in all-equity Series A funding with plans to hire 40 new people over the next 18 months. The majority of that hiring spree will be in Toronto.

The financing was led by Drive Capital, with participation from returning investors Accomplice Ventures and Golden Ventures. Masha Khusid from Drive Capital will join Nautical’s board of directors.

Founded in 2020 by Ryan Lee, Niklas Halusa, and James Throsby, Nautical is a multi-vendor marketplace platform for retailers, B2B companies, and startups to launch an online marketplace.

A spokesperson for Nautical told BetaKit that about one-third of its headcount is based out of Toronto, with plans to increase that number. Though they declined to disclose the exact number of Nautical employees, the company’s LinkedIn page shows that it has 10. “We are actively recruiting for product and engineering roles in Toronto with the goal to build a team here,” the spokesperson said.

Ahead of its Series A round, Nautical appointed Bhavin Shah as its first chief operations officer (COO) and chief technology officer (CTO). Shah is the former CTO of Toronto startups Top Hat, Globalive Technology, and TouchBistro.

Nautical claims that it has experienced significant growth over the past six months. According to the company, it saw an increase in revenue and the addition of new customers from the US, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Australia, and France spanning several industry verticals.

Backed by new funding, Nautical intends to further develop its platform, expand into new markets, and grow its engineering product, customer success, and sales and marketing teams.

Twilio officially made its entrance into the Canadian market today, making its customer communications product available to local businesses. Its expansion efforts in the country will be led by Dino Marasco, the new vice president and general manager of Twilio Canada.

According to Twilio, its Canadian team has grown to several dozen employees within six months, and the company intends to continue expanding its headcount in the country.

Available in about 180 countries, Twilio provides a customer engagement platform to help businesses build direct, personalized relationships with their clients. Its communications APIs enable companies to interact with their customers through voice, text, and video.

Some of Twilio’s earliest customers came from Canada, which includes the likes of Shopify, Flair Airlines, and more. With its official launch into the country, Twilio said it plans to double down on the Canadian market with an emphasis on the public sector, healthcare and life sciences, retail, and financial services industries.

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“Every major city in this country is brimming with entrepreneurship, innovation and engineering talent,” said Marasco.

Another company that wants to tap into Canada’s tech talent pool is proptech startup Dealpath, which has opened a new office in Toronto.

Dealpath said that its Toronto location will “empower” the firm to expand its Canadian client base and look for skilled talent from the city’s surrounding universities.

In addition to establishing a physical presence in the country, Dealpath has also hired Canadian real estate veteran Stephanie Gaty as strategic account director. Gaty joined Dealpath in May after a three-year career as a senior sales executive at CoStar Group.

Dealpath is also located in San Francisco and New York. Co-founded by Mike Sroka (CEO), Kenter Wu (CTO), Andy Lee (VP of Engineering), the company offers a cloud-based real estate investment management platform.

Since its inception in 2014, Dealpath claims that it has supported over $10 trillion in transactions with leading institutions across the world. The US firm is backed by an investor base that includes Blackstone, Nasdaq, Milstein Properties, and Greensoil Proptech Ventures.

Dealpath’s Canadian clients include the likes of Oxford Properties Group, First Capital Realty, Fiera Properties, Manulife Investment Management, Crestpoint Real Estate Investments, and Le Groupe Maurice.

A spokesperson for Dealpath said that the company plans to triple its current headcount of 100 by the end of this year.

These international companies are increasing their Canadian hiring plans at a time when tech companies around the world are making staff cuts in relation to current market conditions.

Canadian tech has not been immune, with layoffs as well as hiring freezes increasing the available talent pool. At the same time, regions across the country continue to face labour shortages – with tech talent being some of the hardest roles to fill.

Featured image courtesy of Avanade.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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