Today in Funding: Curbie Cars, Loopt, Myant, Innovate BC Award WinnersCurbie News May 13, 2021
By ISABELLE KIRKWOOD
Six Canadian startups have recently announced fresh funding to fuel their growth. Here’s the latest on who raised, how much, from whom, and what they’ll be putting the new funds toward.
Curbie Cars closes $7 million seed round
Curbie Cars, a Saskatoon-based online vehicle retail startup, has completed a $7 million CAD seed round of financing.
The round was led by Conexus Venture Capital, with participation from SaskWorks and Broad Street Bulls. Curbie Cars will use the new funding to expand in its current markets, increase its inventory of vehicles and grow its team.
Founded in 2017 by CEO Alex Cruder and COO Brent Gudelot, Curbie Cars was created to offer a more transparent car buying experience. The platform allows customers to test-own vehicles for seven days, with a money-back guarantee if the customer is not completely satisfied. Curbie Cars also offers free deliveries, three-month and 10,000-kilometre warranties, and inspections on all vehicles.
Over the past year, Curbie has expanded across Western Canada, and is now operating in
Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.
Toronto-based Loopt raises $1.7 million
Toronto-based e-commerce startup Loopt has raised $1.7 million. The investment was led by Columbus Capital, with participation from Kirsten Chapman, the former president of Indigo Canada, and angel investors Gemini Waghmare of Openscreen and Jay Deen of Amdocs.
Loopt, formally called Dresst, allows brands to run their own fully branded rental subscription service. The company’s last investment was a $525,000 seed round in 2019. Loopt co-founder and COO Laura Bryce told BetaKit this latest round is a seed extension.
Loopt plans to use the funding to continue the development of its platform, which allows retailers to participate in the circular economy through customizable rental subscription programs. The startup was founded in 2018 by CEO Kelly Pigeon and Bryce.
“The sharing economy is set to reach $335 billion by 2025,” said Pigeon. “This space is currently dominated by peer-to-peer transactions, leaving a huge opportunity for retailers to get skin in the game. The Loopt platform takes the unique considerations of the circular economy and unlocks the ability for retailers to run their own, full branded circular service.”
Myant receiving $1.5 million from Ontario government
The Ontario government is investing $1.5 million in Myant, a Toronto-based startup that creates textiles that can sense and react to the human body.
The government investment is aimed to help Myant commercialize its “connected wearables” that can sense, monitor and help detect various symptoms that may signal the onset of diseases, including those associated with COVID-19.
The funding will be used by Myant to accelerate the commercialization of its Skiin product by conducting a community-based deployment of Skiin. Myant will distribute Skiin kits to 2,500 trial participants and is partnering with Algoma University and the Sault Area Hospital to complete the trial.
Myant’s Skiin product embeds sensors into clothing that can track the wearer’s vital signs through Myant’s Connected Care Life App. This information can be shared with an individual’s circle of care, including their family and healthcare providers.
Innovate BC awards $325,000 to three aquaculture startups
Three BC-based aquaculture startups have won a collective $325,000 from Innovate BC through the Aquaculture Innovation Awards.
Poseidon Ocean Systems has won $150,000 for its Flowpressor Technology Platform that is aimed to reduce diesel fuel consumption by 55 percent. The startup’s clean compressor technology is designed for aquaculture to produce compressed air to run aeration systems, oxygen generators and feed systems.
TheFish was also awarded $150,000 for its Tally traceability software for the aquaculture sector. The software links data from fish farm to factory through IoT devices and tablet computers and uses machine learning algorithms. The software is aimed to create improvements in time and quality of fish farming through automation and predictive analytics.
Industrial Plankton won $25,000 for its algae bioreactors for live feed production in aquaculture hatcheries. The team’s technology is currently used in 20 countries, primarily in shellfish and shrimp hatcheries. Industrial Plankton won the fan favourite award, following a vote by a live audience.