Once a startup has blossomed through seed funding, it may seek additional capital to reach the next stage of scale and growth.
This can be an exciting time for everyone involved: a startup hasn’t necessarily proven itself yet, but the potential and surrounding interest can generate some powerful energy—it’s also a phase where many startups refine or pivot their product as they approach commercialization and monetization.
Overall, things can start to get pretty serious around the Series A round of funding.
“In Series A funding, investors are not just looking for great ideas,” explains Investopedia. “Rather, they are looking for companies with great ideas as well as a strong strategy for turning that idea into a successful, money-making business.”
Techcouver took a look at some of recent Series A rounds in the BC technology scene and what each funding influx meant for the startups.
In the last 10 years, the experience of finding and booking a short-term rental has improved dramatically. However, as travellers experience first-hand, there is still a gap in how technology is used to improve the guest experience after a booking is made.
Operto—from the Italian word aperto; meaning to open—is a property automation and IoT operating system for vacation rentals, hotels, and serviced apartments.
Vancouver’s Operto Guest Technologies secured $15 million in a Series A funding round led by FUSE, with follow-on investments from Watchfire Venturers, BlackPines Capital Partners, and a consortium of other investors.
Operto’s SaaS-based property automation software improves short-term rental operations and the entire post-booking guest experience, by digitizing and enhancing the process end-to-end.
The platform brings a rich set of digital tools and IoT into one place for both guest and owner.
Operto said earlier this year it will use the new funding to further accelerate the development of its Connect operating system, and continue its expansion across all accommodation verticals and into new geographies.
“2021 was an absolutely huge year of growth at Operto, in terms of revenue, reach into new accommodation verticals, and launching new products and services to delight our customers,” shared Steve Davis, CEO of Operto. “Now is the right time to double-down on our growth plans.”
Novarc is a full-stack robotics company specializing in the design and commercialization of collaborative robots and AI-based machine vision software and systems for robotic welding applications.
Named to the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business 2022 ranking of Canada’s Top Growing Companies, Vancouver’s Novarc Technologies raised a Series A investment from Graham Partners Growth in September.
The capital investment will allow Novarc to broaden its robot and AI product line and accelerate its global expansion.
“We’re very excited to have closed this Series A financing with Graham Partners which will be used to fund the expansion of Novarc’s sales and marketing efforts in North America, Europe and Asia, and continued investment in research and development in AI and robotics,” stated Soroush Karimzadeh, CEO of Novarc Technologies.
According to Karimzadeh, the investment “allows us to scale our multidisciplinary team in robotics, AI, vision, welding, sales and support to meet the ramp up in demand for factory automation.”
“The deployment of collaborative robots enhanced by vision and artificial intelligence will increasingly be the mainstay in fabrication facilities of many industries—this funding will provide Novarc with the bandwidth to meet this demand,” he said.
Vancouver direct-to-consumer tableware brand Fable raised a $8.4 million Series A round in July to elevate the at-home experience. The Series A round was led by Listen Ventures alongside existing investors True and Sandpiper.
The new funds will be used to increase development across several key business verticals to fuel continued growth, product development and bring on key hires in addition to international expansion.
After a successful debut last year, Fable will be broadening their glassware collection to round out their assortment to include pieces for any occasion. To further house the growing demand for Fable collections, the brand will be opening a new Vancouver boutique in South Granville.
Fable partners with Vancouver’s Mealshare, a non-profit with a mission to end youth hunger in our lifetime. For every bundle sold, a meal is donated to a youth in need through Mealshare. In 2021, as a direct result of Fable purchases, over 21,000 meals were donated to youth in need.