Canadian Startup News : Week 16/11/2020

Nov 17, 2020 | Startup News | 0 comments

Welcome to our weekly Canadian startup news segment where we bring you the most important events in the world of canadian startups. We cover all major cities in Canada, mainly Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver and other emerging startup scenes.

This week, the canadian startup scene has seen many important acquisitions and investments. BDC and Bonjour Startup partnered to create a support system for scaleups and high growth startups in Montreal. Montreal’s AI research Institute (MILA) has also recieved an important investment from Google to further their research into machine learning.


Bonjour Startup Montreal has partnered with BDC Capital to launch the Collectif Invincible (Invisible Collective), a new initiative aimed at providing a dedicated offering for scaleups (companies in the high-growth phase).

This scaleup support group was created to develop a community of entrepreneurs, coaches and experts, mobilized by the ambition to help ”scaleups” (companies that resist tough times likes these and continue to grow successfully despite the challenges).

Scaleups” are usually defined as high-growth companies with solid financing and at least 10 full-time employees. They aren’t really considered startups nor SMEs. They also create significant economic and social benefits: job creation, tax generation, export of Quebecois engineering through the innovations they commercialize, revitalization of the economy and contribution to the prosperity of society.

To date, there is no support group dedicated to high growth companies in the province yet scaleups face very specific realities and challenges.

One of the shortcomings in Montreal and Quebec is the lack of support for young companies in their hypergrowth phase. Our wish with the Collectif Invincible is to help perpetuate the existence of scaleups by creating an ecosystem that takes into account their specificities,”

Liette Lamonde, co-founder and CEO of Bonjour Startup Montréal.

The new Invisible Collective is being put in place to revitalize this community by promoting exchanges through coaching offered by accomplished entrepreneurs and experienced executives and through top caliber conferences that will target the stakes and realities of scaleups such as the development of growth and export strategies.

Companies wishing to become members of the Collectif Invincible must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a fast-growing technology company
  • Have less than 10 years of existence as a company
  • Have a minimum growth of 20% per pre-COVID year over 3 years (revenues and/or employees)
  • Have raised at least $2 million in dilutive and/or non-dilutive capital
  • Employing at least 10 people full time
  • To be in adequacy between its product and the targeted market
  • Have a founder who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a head office in Quebec
  • Member companies will collaborate with Bonjour Startup Montreal to continuously improve the offer of the Collectif Invincible.

Among the first scaleups to have been selected for this program are: Aerial Technologies, a company in AI, Breathe Life, an e-commerce platform in the insurance field, AON3D a producer of 3D printers, and Moka a financial technology startup.

For more information visit:


Toyota’s early-stage venture capital fund called Toyota AI Ventures, has invested in YPC Technologies, a Montreal based robotic kitchen startup.

YPC Tech has recieved this funding after their participation in the 2020 Toyota AI Ventures “call for innovation” focused on smart, connected cities that launched earlier this year in partnership with the Toyota Research Institute.

Toyota AI Ventures views cities as a platform for innovation, and this year’s global call for innovation focused on attracting and investing in early-stage startups that are building solutions for smart and connected cities in the areas of AI, robotics, autonomy, mobility, cloud, and data.

The call allowed Toyota AI Ventures to discover startups and innovative companies across a variety of different industries that are solving real-world problems.

Hike Ventures, Real Ventures, Uphill Capital and many angel investors partnered up for an 1,.8M seed round of investment for YPC Technologies

Toyota AI Ventures, a subsidiary of Toyota Research Institute, is a VC firm based in California that invests in early-stage startups in the areas of AI, cloud, data, autonomy, mobility, and robotics.

Its mission is to discover what’s next for Toyota by helping startups bring disruptive technologies and new business models to market quickly.

For more information:


Google Canada has invested $3.9M USD in MILA, a Montreal based AI research institute.

This grant will be used by Mila to further its research in AI and machine learning. This is the second major investment in 4 years by Google Canada in Mila’s research. This investment also comes as Canada gains increasing worldwide recognition for its proportion of AI researchers, helped in large part by organizations like Mila.

“Ongoing support and established trust from the federal and provincial governments, and from the main industry players like Google, is the reason why Mila, and the entire Canadian ecosystem, is able to continue to push boundaries and maintain scientific leadership in the development of innovative approaches to machine learning for AI,”

Yoshua Bengio, founder of Mila

Founded back in 1993, Mila is the result of a partnership between the University of Montreal, McGill University, Polytechnique Montréal, and HEC Montréal, four major universities in the city.

This research organization focuses mainly on deep learning and fields like generative models, natural language processing, and computer vision.

Google Canada made an initial investment of $4.5 M USD over a three-year period since 2016. Since then, the number of faculty members at Mila and students have increased by about 50%. The number of researchers at Mila has also risen significantly: It grew from 25 to 519 since Google made its first contribution 4 years ago. This year, Mila claims to have the largest concentration of deep learning academic researchers in the world.

“Google Canada’s generous support, and our pledge toward Mila’s mission, further solidifies Mila and Google’s longstanding mutual commitment to continue to develop AI for the benefit of everyone,”

added Bengio.

Mila is currently working on an algorithm aimed to identify a new drug capable of fighting the COVID-19 virus. That project is part of LambdaZero, a project aimed to help scientists find effective molecules and develop new potentially life saving drugs.

For more information:


Local Logic, a Montreal based proptech and AI startup has secured $8 million CAD in Series A financing. This latest round of funding brings the startups total funding to date to $10 million CAD.

The round was led by Toronto-based GroundBreak Ventures and joined by Shadow Ventures, BDC Capital, Jones Boys Ventures, Cycle Capital, and Desjardins Capital.

This investment will be used by Local Logic to double its current 26-person team over the next year. It also plans to increase its footprint in the United States in terms of clients and data as well as the depth of insights offered on the platform.

“As our communities continue to undergo increasingly rapid economic and social shifts, it is vital that consumers, real estate professionals and urban planners have a role in shaping their future,”

Local Logic founder and CEO Vincent-Charles Hodder.

“With the backing of our new investors, we are now in a prime position to expand our platform and begin to not only reimagine the way our cities are planned, built, and experienced, but to better represent the needs of those who inhabit them,” Hodder added.

Since its foundation in 2015, Local Logic aims to help real estate websites better match people with places by revealing the ”hidden value” of any location. The startup’s AI-based algorithm is working to give real estate investors, developers and other professionals a more complete picture of a given market and related consumer demand.

Local Logic claims its platform analysis creates new levels of certainty around property-level attributes that have long been treated as subjective, helping them to determine the highest and best use of any specific asset and enabling more accurate, efficient, and successful investment decisions.

The startup also claims to have 30 billion data points on its platform and to be the largest unique location data set in Canada and the United States.

Local Logic has formed partnerships with several real estate developers and property management companies in Canada and the US, including DevMcGill and Ivanhoe Cambridge, as well as leading real estate portals and data providers such as RE/MAX, Zillow, CoreLogic, Royal Le Page, and

“Recent shifts in preferences – many of them brought on or accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic – have created an uncertain environment for homeowners, real estate agencies, landlords, developers and investors,”

“Local Logic provides these stakeholders with powerful tools capable of providing real-time insight into demand drivers that will shape cities and communities in the future.”

Local Logic founder and CEO Vincent-Charles Hodder.

For more information:

Stay tuned for weekly updates and the latest news from the world of Canadian start-ups.


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