Vision Critical raises $26.7 million CAD in growth debt financing

Vision Critical

Vision Critical, a customer experience management startup, has secured $26.7 million CAD ($20 million USD) in growth debt financing. Growth debt is a form of hybrid capital, featuring both debt and equity components. Vision Critial has raised approximately $50 million CAD to date.

Since the start of 2020, the company has also released a number of new features to its platform.

The funding was raised from Vancouver-based Vistara Capital Partners and will be used to expedite Vision Critical’s growth strategy and roadmap. This is the company’s first round of financing since it raised $20 million in funding from OMERS Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Canadian pension funds company OMERS, in 2012.

“Vistara Capital’s growth debt solution allows us to continue our accelerated investment in a number of key growth areas for the business while preserving and ultimately enhancing the value for our current shareholders,” said Ross Wainwright, CEO of Vision Critical.

Founded in 2000, Vision Critical offers a customer intelligence platform that collects, analyzes, and provides insights on customer experience data. Some of the company’s customers include Red Bull, LinkedIn, Condé Nast, and Twitter. Although founded in Vancouver, Vision Critical moved its headquarters to Toronto at the end of last year, at the same time former-CEO Scott Miller was replaced by Wainwright.

That change came after several years of what The Globe and Mail has reported as a period of infighting between former CEO Angus Reid, father of company founder Andrew Reid, and Vision Critical’s directors and shareholders, which ended with W Capital Partners and Georgian Partners buying out Reid in 2017. Miller replaced Reid as CEO in 2012, and served in the role until December 2019.

Vision Critical recently told BetaKit although the management team and decision-making has largely gravitated to Toronto, it was established earlier this year that the company would continue to grow its offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and implement a dual headquarter strategy with two Canadian cities.

RELATED: Vision Critical acquires Aida to integrate AI applications into customer intelligence platform

According to The Globe and Mail, Vision Critical cut five percent of its staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company told BetaKit COVID-19 led to the company restructuring in order to “proactively safeguard itself and conduct a small restructure.” The company added it has grown its annual contract value by 64 percent in Q2 in 2020 compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

Since the start of 2020, Vision Critical has also released a number of new features to its customer experience management platform, including a new application that allows brands to quickly create interactions to gather feedback from large customer bases.

“After being part of the initial formation of Vision Critical 20 years ago, it is very gratifying to come full circle and partner with the company during what is already shaping up to be a significant expansion phase for the business,” said Randy Garg, founder and managing partner of Vistara Capital Partners.

Image source Vision Critical.

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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