Hello and welcome to the BC Startup Show’s recap for this week.
In general startup news from around the province this week:
Complex Biotech receives a waiver to begin experimenting with psilocybin mushroom-based treatments
Complex Biotech, a University of British Columbia-based research lab focused on cannabis and psilocybin, has received their Section 56 exeption from Health Canada. The group will now begin conducting research on metabolomics identification and develop analytical methods to enable precisely defined psilocybin mushroom extracts that allow for future mushroom-based medication.
Learn more about Complex Biotech at cbdvl.com.
Little Kitchen Academy expands eastward, reaching Ontario
Little Kitchen Academy, a Vancouver-based Montessori-inspired cooking academy for kids ages 3 through 19, is expanding to Ontario. The group’s first Ontario location will be opening in Maple Grove Village in Oakville, Ontario this summer.
Franchises are in the works and Little Kitchen Academy has an aggressive growth plan, so if you’re looking for some wholesome learning for your kids, look for them to open near you soon enough.
Learn more at littlekitchenacademy.com.
VanHack hosts a virtual hiring event for women in technology this March
VanHack is hosting a virtual hiring event for women in technology from March 8th to 10th, in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Per VanHack: grow your network internationally, build long-term relationships with European, Canadian and US companies and get a step closer to finding your dream job abroad.
If you’re interested in furthering your career in tech, this is a great opportunity to network directly with recruiters and engineering managers.
Note that the team is looking for 4+years of professional software development experience, so this isn’t for newcomers. VanHack is recommending:
Bachelor Degree in Computer Science or a related discipline
Good results in the coding challenge (if a coding challenge is available)
Register at https://vanhack.com/platform/#/events
In fundraising news:
💰 Fantuan’s $35 million Series B raise
The largest deal of the week is Fantuan’s $35 million Series B raise, bringing their total funding to date to more than $50 million. This round was led by Chinese private equity firm Orchid Asia, and was joined by existing investors Vision Plus Capital, Celtic House Asia Partners, and other individual investors.
If you live outside of Vancouver, it’s possible you haven’t heard of Fantuan. However, you will soon enough. The food delivery and errands management startup is the largest Asian-owned delivery service in North America, operating in 40 cities across the continent and with 2020 annual revenue of $400 million.
Learn more at fantuan.ca.
💰 Apollo Insurance's $13.5 million Series A raise
The second largest deal to come across our desk is the Apollo Insurance Series A round, which closed at $13.5 million this week. The company was initially seeking $4 million in this raise, however it was heavily oversubscribed so they pushed forward to close more than 3.5x their initial ask. Gravitas Securities and Trisura Group led this round.
Apollo is one of Canada's largest online insurance companies. Their proprietary insurance platform allows insurance agents and their customers to purchase their policy immediately, from anywhere, on any device, 24/7.
Learn more at apollocover.com.
💰 Lift Auto Group’s (?) supplemental fundraise
Finally, we have Lift Auto Group’s unknown raise that was announced this week. PFM Capital, and existing investors the Canadian Business Growth Fund, participated in this round to support additional expansion and acquisitions.
Lift is a Kelowna-based consolidator of automotive collision repair centres across Canada. The Company currently has twelve locations across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan under the CSN Collision banner, with plans to expand its footprint East across the rest of Canada.
You can find them at liftautogroup.com.
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