Three rising Ottawa tech stars tapped for Toronto-based scale-up program

Eli Fathi
Eli Fathi is CEO of Ottawa-based MindBridge Ai, one of three local firms selected to join a new scale-up program at Toronto's MaRS Discovery District. File photo

Three Ottawa software companies are among 53 Canadian firms that have been chosen for an exclusive program aimed at boosting promising tech stars to the $100-million revenue mark and beyond within the next five years.

Fintech firm MindBridge Ai, data-transfer technology company Ranovus and video app interface maker You.i TV have all been named to take part in Momentum, a program based at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District.

Funded through FedDev Ontario, the program aims to provide high-growth firms with guidance and advice on accessing capital, hiring talent and penetrating new global markets as well as building stronger links with post-secondary institutions. It does not offer capital to participating companies and does not take an equity stake.

“The goal is to help these executives turn their high-potential companies into high-growth powerhouses that will build jobs and intellectual property in Canada, while exporting Canadian innovations around the world,” MaRS said.

The companies selected “are growing in sustainable, profitable ways, solving urgent issues and creating the kind of good jobs Canada needs,” Krista Jones, Momentum’s founding executive, added in a news release.

The three Ottawa firms chosen to join Momentum’s portfolio will likely be familiar to seasoned observers of the city’s tech scene.

MindBridge Ai has landed tens of millions of dollars in venture capital and is considered one of the country’s biggest IPO prospects. 

Founded in 2015, MindBridge makes fraud-detection software that can read years of audit reports in a fraction of the time it would take a single set of human eyes. The firm, which now employs more than 100 people, counts the Bank of England, Payments Canada and a major North American bank among its more than 300 customers and was recently named to the World Economic Forum’s list of 100 technology pioneers from around the world

“Being part of the Momentum program enables MindBridge to accelerate our progress by collaborating with experienced mentors who provide strategic guidance and advice,” CEO Eli Fathi said in a statement. “We are grateful for that support.”

Launched eight years ago, Ranovus develops fibre-optic technology that aims to make it cheaper and more energy-efficient for customers to store and transfer data in the cloud. The firm counts several of the world’s largest data centre service providers among its customers.

The company has earned support from the federal government in its R&D push, landing $20 million in funding from the feds in late 2018 en route to raising a total of US$95 million so far. Like MindBridge, it was named to this year’s Narwhal List of Canada’s best IPO prospects.

You.i TV’s platform helps major media companies stream their content across a variety of platforms. The 12-year-old company recently said it plans to hire up to 55 new employees and expects to double its revenue over the next three years as it expands into new markets beyond North America while beefing up its R&D efforts.

The Kanata firm, which has more than 250 employees, has raised US$50 million in capital so far, including a US$23-million series-C round in late 2018.