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Claiming the spot as the 3rd fastest growing tech hub in North America, Vancouver is a city to look out for in Canada’s tech landscape. It boasts some of the country’s best scenery and an internationally renowned food scene. In addition, it’s also home to a hotbed of new technology, from digital startups to some of Canada’s largest corporations.
With fresh new ideas and an impressive track record for growth, Vancouver is a city full of opportunities for startups, tech companies, and investors looking to provide funding.
Here are 5 of the top Vancouver startups we’ll be looking out for this year.
Year Founded: 2018
Addy believes everyone should be able to invest in real estate. While owning a home isn’t for everyone, Addy’s business model allows the average person to invest in property no matter their age, location, or income. For as little as $1, investors can purchase a stake in investments selected by Addy’s real estate acquisitions team. Addy divides the investment into equal units listed for sale on the platform. After investing, users can then share in both risks and rewards.
“We’re on a mission to enable every human to own real estate,” says CEO Mike Stephenson. “In many of our properties, tenants who have lived in these buildings for decades now have ownership in the building they rent in.”
After raising an undisclosed amount in 2019 with Calgary’s Creative Destruction Lab, Addy raised $340k in a single week for one of their Hamilton properties. Investments like those make this Vancouver-based business worth keeping on your radar.
Year Founded: 2018
Founded by serial tech entrepreneurs Vincent Lam and Sean Huang, Matidor aims to simplify location-based projects. This company brings a response to managing the enormous amount of scattered data across environmental and energy endeavours. Matidor brings together financial documents, complicated maps, reports, and photos in a way any user can understand.
“We want to be the go-to platform for any location-based intelligence,” Huang told TechCrunch. The company’s latest iteration, Matidor Noa, simplifies the offering even more. Noa places project insights into the palm of your hand with smart commenting, offline compatibility, and an improved U.I.
The launch of Noa concludes an exciting 2021, where Matidor raised $1.85 million in funding through Y Combinator. In addition, they were named the 2021 B.C. Startup of the Year.
Year Founded: 2018
Is it possible to build machines that talk and think like people? Vancouver startup Sanctuary A.I. thinks it’s possible. Combining A.I. and robotics, co-founders Geordie Rose, Suzanne Gildert, Olivia Norton, and Ajay Agrawal established Sanctuary as a safe space to explore the creation of an artificial human-like brain and a system capable of performing human-like tasks.
Sanctuary A.I. aims to “understand the human mind well enough to build one in a machine,” and investors think it’s up to the task. In March 2022, Sanctuary announced the successful completion of a Series A funding round, which earned this startup $75.5M in funding.
With an impressive list of institutional investors (including Bell, Magna, Verizon, and Workday) and former astronaut Chris Hadfield joining their advisory board, Sanctuary is on a path to stardom.
Year Founded: 2021
Vancouver upstart Tiggy attracted the attention of investors in October of 2021 after a successful seed round earned them $6.4M in financing (much of it from family-led investor Heartland). Tiggy, which lets Vancouver residents order groceries through their no-fees app, promises to deliver within 15 minutes. That quick delivery promise gives it a significant competitive advantage over Canada’s current food delivery landscape.
Eugene Bisovka and Rasmik Sukyasov founded Tiggy in July 2021 with the ambition to expedite food delivery in Canada. The platform competes with existing delivery options by offering no fees or minimum costs. Bisovka based the offering on the dark store model popular in Europe, where physical locations fulfil online orders rather than serve customers on-site. Similar to the dark store, the service uses e-bikes for quick delivery. Like other e-commerce businesses looking to break into food delivery, Tiggy aims to expand rapidly into other Canadian markets.
“We are expanding into Toronto. We want to cover Vancouver really fast,” Biscovka says. In short, with a quick-commerce option expected to generate billions in retail sales in coming years, Tiggy is a Vancouver startup to watch.
Year Founded: 2018
The recent recipient of over $40M in Series A financing led by Lux Capital and Leaps by Bayer, Gandeeva Therapeutics is a new player in Vancouver’s tech scene. Founded by medical scientist Sriram Subramaniam, the biotech platform combines cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and artificial intelligence. Subramaniam hopes the combination can advance drug discovery and lower the risk of late-stage clinical failures.
Chemistry researchers won the Nobel Prize in 2017 for work in cryo-EM, which allows scientists to go beyond the previous limits of x-ray technology. Cryo-EM lets you take a microscopic look at proteins, making 3D computer projections from 2D images of amino acid sequences. That is to say, this technology gives scientists like Dr. Subramaniam a chance to build better drugs.
“Structural biology and bioinformatics will never be the same,” according to Subramaniam, who is a major contributor to the field of cryo-EM. This Vancouver startup plans to use this information to revolutionize the discovery process for new drugs.
Gandeeva’s platform allows users to quickly visualize and analyze how drugs and proteins interact. Since nearly every disease involves these proteins, this can make drugs easier to test. Allowing pharmaceutical companies to develop products in less time makes Gandeeva therapeutics one of Vancouver’s hottest new startups.