Vancouver boasts Canada’s third largest metropolitan area by tech employment, with a workforce nearly 150,000 strong, CompTIA’s State of Workforce found.
The city gained almost 4,000 workers in 2023 alone.
Employing this expanding armanda of tech workers—nearly 200,000 province-wide—is an army of almost 5,000 tech companies operating throughout the Vancouver area. That’s as much as Calgary and Edmonton combined, although less than Montreal (8,000) or Toronto (20,000).
Many of these companies employing techies are startups in various stages of growth—the sort we report on every day. Others have been around for decades and are still going strong.
Below, we highlight some BC-based firms fundraising expansion and innovation.
Rossland-born ThoughtExchange raised $13.5 million in equity financing from InBC Investment—along with existing investors Information Venture Partners, Yaletown Partners, Voyager Capital, HarbourVest, and First Generation Capital—in November.
ThoughtExchange is an “innovator in engagement technology and problem-solving, bridging the gap between quantitative sentiment and actionable solutions by combining deep AI capabilities with proprietary qualitative survey methods.”
InBC identified ThoughtExchange as meeting their impact objectives to innovate for the future and elevate inclusive communities, as well as the potential for financial returns and benefits to the province.
Over the past five years, ThoughtExchange’s revenue has surged by 585%, with its customer base more than tripling as organizations prioritize enhancing their decision-making process and encouraging inclusive problem-solving.
The round builds on substantial funding received from HarbourVest and others in 2020.
In December, the Vancouver-based AI-powered website builder announced $14 million in Series A funding.
With over $20 Million in total funds raised to date, Durable is building the default platform to make every aspect of running a business more efficient.
Named one of ten Homegrown B.C. Startups to Watch in 2023, Durable built over six million websites in one year.
The funding round was led by Spark Capital with participation from existing investors Torch Capital, Altman Capital, Dash Fund, South Park Commons, Infinity Ventures, and Soma Capital.
The new investment will be used to accelerate the Durable product roadmap, build deeper AI capabilities, and expand the Durable team.
The perennially profitable Safe Software announced in January that it received a strategic growth investment from JMI Equity, a firm focused on providing software companies with flexible capital, industry expertise, and operational support to build businesses of enduring value.
Headquartered in Surrey, Safe provides solutions that empower people and enterprises to unlock the full potential of their information, especially geo-spatial data.
The BC firm’s flagship product is the Feature Manipulation Engine—a data integration platform with support for spatial data.
With FME’s tools, users can process and convert data, creating workflows that extend the reach of data integration, according to the company.
The privately owned and recently rebranded Canadian company has been profitable since its inception in 1993.
Safe Software’s technology is leveraged by more than 200,000 users across over 25,000 organizations worldwide.
The Canadian Food Innovation Network announced in December that is is awarding nearly $2 million to a British Columbia company that has been innovating vineyard agriculture since 2016.
Through the Food Innovation Challenge Program, CFIN is financially supporting Crush Dynamics on the BC firm’s quest develop and test a seemingly magical ingredient, created through upcycling, that will enhance food quality and reduce sugar and sodium content in food products while diverting emissions from landfills.
The project, titled “Upcycling Agricultural Side Streams into High Performance Food Solutions Through Process Optimization,” is working alongside project partners Purdys Chocolatier and Ecovatec Solutions to leverage the fermentation of upcycled wine derivatives and agricultural waste to produce a proprietary, high-performance food ingredient at scale.
Crush Dynamics promises an ingredient that sounds too good to be true: Extracted through a patented process, the polyphenol-rich ingredient claims to enhance food quality by enabling up a reduction in sugar of up to 50% and a reduction in sodium of up to 80%—all while maintaining or even improving both texture and shelf life.
This single ingredient could thus provide food and beverage manufacturers with an opportunity to reduce complexity in their supply chain, which is why Crush aims to prove its production process at scale—from pre-processing treatments to fermentation and drying—employing automation to meet the demand forecasted by partners and potential customers.
Since launching in 2021, CFIN has received more than 350 funding applications from innovative companies across the country and has approved $17M in funding across over 50 projects—including many based in beautiful British Columbia.
In December, Vancouver’s Ionomr Innovations announced the close of a US$20 million Series A funding round with returning lead investors NGIF Cleantech Ventures and Pallasite Ventures.
Ionomr develops and manufactures polymer and membrane technologies for next-generation hydrogen applications.
The funding will allow Ionomr to further scale its ion-exchange membranes and polymers, Aemion and Pemion, according to a statement from the company.
Ionomr’s materials can make more efficient, cost-competitive solutions possible, including eliminating expensive precious metal requirements from hydrogen production.
The funding round was supported by Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures and Finindus, and joined by N.V. Bekaert, Asahi Kasei, Samsung Ventures and SAIC Capital.
The company was recently listed on the Global Cleantech 100.