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Canada’s largest metropolis holds the distinction of being the 3rd most technologically advanced city in North America, following San Francisco and Seattle. With a growing population of entrepreneurs and a drive for innovation, Toronto has an environment that allows startups to maximize funding and thrive.
In fact, according to a CBRE Group market review, Toronto’s tech industry leads the pack in job growth amongst the 30 fastest-growing tech markets in North America. With the cost of doing business considerably cheaper compared to other top cities, it’s no surprise Toronto is a breeding ground for new companies and startups.
Here are 5 of the top startups to watch in Toronto.
Year Founded: 2020
Founded by serial entrepreneur Matt Spoke, Moves is a financial services platform for the self-employed, i.e., independent workers, freelancers, and gig workers.
The company wants to bridge that gap and deliver independent workers the support they need to thrive in their line of work. In early 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Move financial expedited the release of its platform, offering loans to gig economy workers to assist during the hardships they were facing.
This growing demographic is often overlooked or ineligible for products offered by traditional financial institutions, and they need modern financial products designed to help them on their paths to career fulfillment. Like any other individual, gig workers need access to affordable loans and other financial products to fulfill/fund their professional and personal needs.
In addition, its “Move Collective” service allows workers to earn free shares in these companies, through a collaboration with Bumped Financial, as they make and manage their money within Moves Financial. As of February 7, 2022, the “Move Collective” currently owns 4,349 shares across gig-economy companies Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Grubhub, Target, and Amazon.
Year Founded: 2020
Wombo AI is a “deepfake” lip-sync software powered by AI that generates a “deepfake” version of pictures lip-syncing to a variety of music (currently 14 short clips of songs to lip-sync). The app uses AI to combine word prompts with an art style to create beautiful and completely original artworks in a few seconds.
Just snap a selfie or upload an image from your camera roll, and push a button to have the photo lip-sync to one of the app’s meme-adjacent songs. Although privacy fears have dogged similar apps in the past, Wombo is adamant users’ data is safe.
The image manipulation mobile app, released in 2021, had over 20 million downloads and over 100 million clips created in its first three weeks on app stores.
Founded by Akshay Jagga, Angad Arneja, Ben-Zion Benkhin, Parshant Loungani, Paul Pavel, Wombo.ai has received $6M of funding in its first seed round.
Year Founded: 2021
Founded by Brandon Waselnuk, Karl Clement, Saumil Patel, Codex provides development tools to offer just-in-time documentation, allowing deep collaboration. This improved collaboration ultimately improves efficiency, which will, as an effect, positively impact a company’s bottom lines.
New teammates can understand their database faster and at scale through the Codex platform. It’s like multi-tenant pair programming. It allows a company’s staff and Sr. Engineers to focus on mission-critical elements by enabling them to add context directly to their codebase.
Codex has done very well building and developing its partnerships, adding Shopify, Aleo, Stash, and Fellow to its list of design partners. Furthermore, the company has raised $4.5 Million of funding in its seed round and received an invite to participate in one of its lead investors, Y Combinator’s (YC) Summer 2021 Demo Day in Silicon Valley.
Year Founded: 2017
Integrate.ai is a startup with a mission to accelerate the shift to Machine Learning to maximize participation in the healthcare and finance industries. its goal is to help more people with their critical needs and close the health, wealth, and wellness gaps.
85% of data science projects fail. One of the top reasons is the lack of access to the right data. Integrate.ai intends to change this through federated learning. Unlike traditional machine learning methods that require centralized data, federated learning allows you to train models on distributed datasets.
Its new platform PowerFlow, is an end-to-end federated learning platform that helps data scientists to train machine learning models across distributed data silos while seamlessly managing security, privacy, and regulatory risks.
In addition, they tout the process as “No data moves.” Meaning that you can access data for machine learning and analytics without compromising privacy while bypassing the pain and expense of transferring data.
Completing its Series A round in late 2018, Integrate AI has raised an impressive $49.6M in funding since its inception. Integrate AI was founded in 2017 by its current CEO and former Facebook/Instagram executive, Steve Irving.
Year Founded: 2020
Secoda is a collaboration platform that helps data teams quickly and effectively share metadata, questions, data charts and documentation, increasing overall efficiency.
According to a Forrester research study, only 12 percent of data companies collect is ever used. Secoda plans to use its “Google-like” interface to allow its users to quickly find company data hidden away in their databases. Secoda’s goal is to make digging out hidden company data easy.
This startup’s solution lets software engineers and others attempting to locate a single table within a data warehouse, see the table description, who created it when the table was made, and add documentation so the next person can find it and understand its data.
In 2021, Secoda saw tremendous sales growth and reached $40,000 ARR, growing 84 percent month-over-month. With a vision of expanding even further, the company also plans to double its current workforce in the first half of 2022 by adding 10 new roles split throughout its product, engineering, and marketing departments.
Founded in 2020 by Andrew McEwen, Etai Mizrahi, Secoda has gone through two successful seed rounds, raising $2.3 Million in funding from 7 investors.
Its current lead investor is Craft Ventures.