Funding in Alberta’s tech sector soars

Funding in Alberta’s tech sector soars

A number of Calgary-based tech firms are making plans to rent extra other people and amplify their workplace area as masses of tens of millions of greenbacks go with the flow into the sphere.

Throughout the first part of the yr, Alberta has attracted just about $500 million in funding, consistent with briefed.in.

“We are rising very, in no time,” stated Nic Beique, the founding father of Calgary-based Helcim, which gives on-line cost products and services for small companies throughout Canada and the US.

The corporate not too long ago won $16 million in project capital investment from buyers in Toronto and New York.

“Now we have doubled our trade previously six months by myself, so our buyers are already rather proud of that growth,” Beique stated from the corporate’s headquarters in Eau Claire. 

Nic Beique is the founder and CEO of Helcim, a Calgary-based fintech corporate that gives cost answers for companies. The corporate not too long ago won $16 million in project capital investment. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

Beique says the corporate has grown by means of 400 in line with cent previously yr. It is long past from 80 staff overdue closing yr to 145 these days. He plans to rent 100 extra other people by means of the tip of subsequent yr.

“My long-term function is to construct an anchor tenant within the Calgary tech scene. So when other people take into consideration Calgary, they take into consideration Helcim … the best way Shopify used to be ready to do this with Ottawa, the place they actually more or less put them at the map for tech. I need to do this in Calgary as neatly.”

In step with briefed.in, Alberta’s tech sector recorded $268.6 million in project investment in the second one quarter by myself — in the similar quarter a yr in the past, handiest $16 million used to be raised. 

Hirings, workplace growth

Some other emerging celebrity within the town’s tech scene is Digital Gurus, which gives firms with digital assistants to hold out a variety of administrative tasks for companies in Canada and the States. 

Two years in the past, the corporate had 5 staff. It now has 40 and plans to double that quantity by means of the tip of the yr, which would require extra workplace area.

“We are having a look at increasing upstairs with a view to facilitate that enlargement,” stated Margaret Glover-Campbell, the corporate’s leader working officer.

Margaret Glover-Campbell, leader working officer of Digital Gurus, is having a look to greater than double its choice of staff in downtown Calgary by means of the tip of the yr. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

Digital Gurus, which targets to rent extra other people from minority teams, together with other people with disabilities and contributors of the LGBTQ group, not too long ago won $10 million in investment from a number of project budget. The cash will likely be used to lend a hand the corporate develop and release a brand new app within the coming months.

New investment resources

Calgary-based startup ZayZoon, which prior to now depended on person, non-public buyers, not too long ago raised $25.5 million in investment to lend a hand it amplify. ZayZoon gives other people early get entry to to their earned wages and has partnered with roughly 3,000 companies within the U.S. The corporate has 70 staff however plans to rent 15 extra by means of the tip of the yr. 

Certainly one of its buyers is Alberta government-owned ATB Monetary, which is offering a $13-million debt pool for the corporate to make use of when shoppers search an advance on their profits.

Darcy Tuer, left, Tate Hackert, center, and Jamie Ha are the founders of Calgary-based startup ZayZoon, which gives shoppers with early get entry to to their earned wages. (Tate Hackert/ZayZoon)

Tate Hackert, one of the vital corporate’s founders, says ATB’s toughen is a spice up for his corporate and the town.

“It is simply this type of nice tale for Calgary,” he stated.

“It simply presentations that there’s extra to spend money on right here than oil and gasoline, and we are actually having a look ahead to being a part of that good fortune tale, proper?”

Discovering staff a problem

An ongoing problem for many tech corporations is discovering staff to toughen their growth plans.

“We are completely hiring as many of us as we will be able to. It is a actually tricky marketplace in Calgary as a result of we do have such a lot of tech firms right here which might be looking to rent other people,” stated Glover-Campbell.

Helcim says it takes a novel technique to hiring and gives higher alternatives for fresh graduates of post-secondary faculties. It targets to rent younger execs proper out of college and supply on-the-job coaching and mentorship. 

Workers of Helcim in downtown Calgary. The corporate plans so as to add 100 extra staff by means of the tip of 2023. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

“Our center of attention is on giving those younger execs the facility to start out their occupation at Helcim as a substitute of combating for senior skill,” stated Beique.

He additionally says fresh cooling off within the sector may just lend a hand stage out the call for for skill and lend a hand his corporate draw in and retain team of workers.

Calgary has so much going for it, Beique says, together with an inexpensive price of residing and a just right high quality of lifestyles. He says 20 in line with cent of the corporations’ fresh hires are coming from out of doors the town.


Bryan Labby is an undertaking reporter with CBC Calgary. In case you have a just right tale concept or tip, you’ll achieve him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

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