In its most active year yet, the Capital Angel Network invested $3.3 million in 20 companies, giving many up-and-coming local startups their first taste of funding.
The organization, which brings together local angel investors to hear pitches from early stage startups, covered a range of industries with its investments. Nolan Beanlands, who took on CAN’s executive director role in September, says although the organization invested in eight SaaS firms this past year, it tends to focus less on the software sector because it’s “well-covered elsewhere.”
Instead, he points to CAN’s investments in spaces such as the Internet of Things as an area where Ottawa firms are thriving.
“I think Ottawa works well there,” he said. “There’s still a bit of a hardware history here as much as the world is going to software and AI.”
Mike Foster, an investor with the group, said in a statement that he’s bullish on Ottawa’s cybersecurity potential.
‘’Personal information, health cards, driver’s licences, passwords and credit card information are all at risk at a time when countries and companies want to expand their use and increase protection. New security standards are not far away,” he said.
“In this environment, there are a number of crypto-security and next-generation solutions being brought to the market by the Ottawa-based community,” he continued, pointing to Bluink and Crypto4A as examples.
CAN also implemented a new form of funding this year through its pitch award. Startups that pitch at the monthly angel meetings have a chance to walk away with almost instant funding, as members can allocate their individual “shares” worth $2,500. If a minimum of four angels signal their interest, that startup receives $10,000, or more if it sways extra members.
Three startups – SnapClarity, LeadFox and Back-Bone Gear – received funding through the pitch award in its first year.
Chair Jennifer Francis said in a statement that 2018 will be an even better year for Capital Angel Network, with a strong pipeline of Ottawa companies coming through the organization’s door.
Full list of CAN 2017 investments
*All companies Ottawa-based unless otherwise stated
- Back-Bone Gear Inc.
- Daisy Intelligence (Toronto)
- Motorleaf (Sutton, QC)
- Crypto4A Technologies
- Bluink Ltd.
- Food Cycle Science
Initial & follow-on
- LeadFox (Sherbrooke, QC)
- SmartCone Technologies
- The Better Software Company
- Mydoma Inc.
- RareLogic Inc.
- MindBridge AI