FarmLead has raised $6.5 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Monsanto Growth Ventures, the investment arm of Monsanto Co, and joined by Avrio Ventures, MaRS Innovation and Serra Ventures. With the deal, Kiersten Stead of MGV and Aki Georgacacos of Avrio will join the board. Ottawa-based FarmLead operates a digital marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to list, negotiate and finalize grain deals. The company has since 2013 grown to serve over 4,000 farms. Led by CEO Brennan Turner, it will use the funds raised to expand into the U.S. market and open an office in Chicago.
Montréal virtual health and wellness solution Dialogue has raised C$4 million in seed-stage financing. The announcement confirms news previously shared by one of the startup’s Canadian investors, Diagram, which launched a $25 million debut fund in January. Diagram led the round and was joined by BDC Capital and Hacking Health Accelerator, among others. Founded last year, Dialogue offers employers a virtual platform that provides a range of employee-focused healthcare services and benefits. Led by Co-Founder and CEO Cherif Habib, the company will use the funds raised to build on its Québec launch and continue expansion in Ontario.
Toronto financial technology company Sensibill Inc has raised $17.3 million in a Series A financing. Canadian venture capital firms Information Venture Partners and OpenText Enterprise Apps Fund led the round and were joined by Operative Capital, Mistral Venture Partners and Impression Ventures. As a result, Information VP’s David Unsworth and OTEAF’s Tony van Marken will join the board. Founded in 2013 by CEO Corey Gross and CTO Jamie Alexander, Sensibill is a software platform that allows banking customers to manage line-item receipts directly from desktop and mobile applications. The funds raised will support scaling of its solution.
Roadmunk, a roadmap visualization software platform, has secured $1.5 million in a seed-stage financing. The round was led by Canadian venture capital firm Golden Venture Partners and joined by Felicis Ventures and Garage Capital. Founded in 2012 by CEO Latif Nanji and CTO Tomas Benda, Toronto-based Roadmunk has built a web application that allows enterprises to create and share visual strategy roadmaps. With additional offices in Waterloo and London, United Kingdom, the startup has grown to serve more that 25,000 product managers in organizations worldwide. Roadmunk has previously received funding from BDC Capital.
Canadian enterprise DNS solutions provider BlueCat Networks has agreed to be acquired by U.S. private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal, which will see BlueCat’s existing management team remain in place and retain an equity ownership position. The deal will also provide an exit for the company’s existing backers, Trident Capital and Northleaf Capital Partners. Toronto-based BlueCat was founded in 2001 by Michael Hyatt and Richard Hyatt, and is led by CEO Michael Harris. It said the partnership with Madison Dearborn will help accelerate growth through product development and marketing. The acquisition is expected to close in Q2 2017.
Montréal-based luxury vacation rental company Luxury Retreats has been acquired by Airbnb, a U.S. online hospitality business. No financial terms were released, however, the Globe and Mail reported Airbnb paid between $200 million and $300 million in cash and stock. Luxury Retreats will continue to operate as a standalone entity in the short term, with Founder and CEO Joe Poulin joining Airbnb as a luxury specialist. Airbnb said it will invest in Luxury Retreats, which offers over 4,000 homes in 100 destinations worldwide. Luxury Retreats raised about $20 million from Canadian venture capital firm iNovia Capital and other investors, including 2015’s $11 million Series B round.
Canada Goose Inc, a Toronto designer and maker of outdoor luxury apparel, has filed for an initial public offering of its subordinate voting shares on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a report by Reuters. The company has priced the offering at US$100 million, Reuters said, citing an Securities Exchange Commission filing. Established in 1957, Canada Goose was acquired by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital in December 2013. The IPO will include a secondary sale by Bain, according to the company’s preliminary prospectus, that will leave it with majority control.
Specialty finance firm Wellington Financial has invested $6 million in Electric Cloud, a San Jose, California-based DevOps release automation platform. Electric Cloud, whose technology solutions help organizations to deliver software faster by automating and accelerating build, deployment and release processes, also secured $5 million from Bridge Bank. The company said the funds raised will support operational expansion and further product development. Electric Cloud is backed by Rembrandt Venture Partners, US Venture Partners, RRE Ventures and Siemens Venture Capital.
Fengate Real Asset Investments has closed its acquisition of three operating, fully-contracted solar assets from Canadian Solar Inc for an undisclosed amount. The acquired assets are solar farms located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with a combined capacity of 59.8 MWac. Fengate, a Toronto investment firm focused on infrastructure, real estate and private equity opportunities, said the deal represents its largest power investment to date. The firm has a renewable energy portfolio that includes solar, wind, hydro and biomass projects in North America and the United Kingdom.
Jamieson Laboratories Ltd has acquired Body Plus, a Toronto maker and marketer of natural health and sports nutrition supplements across Canada. No financial terms were disclosed. Jamieson, a Windsor, Ontario-based vitamins maker, said the deal strengthens its product portfolio and expands its reach into sports nutrition and specialty retail channels. Jamieson has since 2014 been a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors. Last May, Reuters reported CCMP was planning to sell the business for between US$600 million and US$700 million.
Hayfin Capital Management LLP, a European private debt investment firm, has agreed to be acquired by British Columbia Investment Management Corp (bcIMC). No financial terms were disclosed, however, Sky News reported the deal’s value to be about £215 million (US$268 million). The Canadian pension fund bought a majority stake in Hayfin from the company’s founding shareholders: TowerBrook Capital Partners, PSP Investments, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) and Future Fund. London-based Hayfin, established in 2009, said bcIMC will commit “significant capital” to its managed funds and support its long-term growth.
Jeld-Wen Holding Inc has priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 25 million common shares at US$23 per share. The IPO, filed last year, will generate about US$575 million in proceeds, according to Renaissance Capital, and result in the company listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “JELD.” Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp, which bought into Jeld-Wen in October 2011, will share in the proceeds. Onex reports making an equity investment of US$985 million in Jeld-Wen, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based manufacturer of doors and windows.
Northleaf Capital Partners has closed its second OECD-focused pooled infrastructure fund, Northleaf Infrastructure Capital Partners II (NICP II), at its $950 million hard-cap target. NICP II, which was launched in 2015, will focus on direct investments in small to mid-sized infrastructure assets in developed markets. The fund has already made its first two investments: a portfolio of U.K. bulk liquid storage assets and a portfolio of U.S. wind and solar assets. It also recently agreed to acquire a stake in Northwest Parkway, a Denver, Colorado highway system. The $2.5 billion infrastructure program of Northleaf, a Canadian private-markets investor, operates from offices in Toronto and London.
Next Gear Solutions, a portfolio company of U.S. private equity firm Serent Capital, has acquired Luxor CRM, a Toronto provider of a customer relationship management (CRM) solution for restoration contractors. No financial terms were disclosed. Oxford, Mississippi-based Next Gear, the maker of DASH, a restoration management software solution, said the deal brings a deluxe CRM into its product suite. Next Gear secured an investment from Serent in 2016. Founded in 2000, Luxor CRM was led by CEO Lukas Szczurowski. With the acquisition, he becomes vice president of sales at Next Gear.
Toronto medical device startup Exact Imaging has secured $21.5 million in a Series C financing. The round was co-led by Canadian venture capital firm Lumira Capital and Luxembourg’s Vesalius Biocapital with participation from new investors, including PMV, and existing investors, including iGan Partners. With the financing, Lumira’s Peter van der Velden, PMV’s Dr. Alexandra Tolia and Vesalius’ Dr. Gaston Matthyssens will join the board. Founded in 2013 by Sam Ifergan and Randy AuCoin, Exact develops micro-ultrasound technology that enables real-time imaging and biopsy guidance for the prostate. It plans to use the funds raised to commercialize its new ExactVu system.
Halifax drug development startup Appili Therapeutics Inc has raised $2.15 million in a follow-on round. New and existing investors backed the deal, including Canadian venture capital firm Innovacorp and others that joined the company’s $3.27 million seed financing in May. Founded last year with the support of Bloom Burton & Co, Appili is a developer of novel therapeutics for infectious diseases. It will use the latest funds raised to advance the company’s lead product candidate, an antibiotic designed to treat anaerobic infections, into clinical trials. Appili also plans to add to its anti-infective pipeline.
U.S. consumer private equity firm Brentwood Associates has invested nearly $50 million in SAXX Underwear, a Vancouver designer of men’s underwear brands. Founded in 2006 by Trent Kitsch, SAXX was acquired in 2010 by private investors, who remain the majority shareholders. The company reports showing revenue growth of more than 75 percent annually since 2012. Brentwood said it plans to build on this growth by helping broaden SAXX’s product portfolio, enhance its digital presence, and expand its international distribution. SAXX is led by CEO Tim Bartels and chaired by Terry Holland, head of Canadian private equity firm Krystal Financial Corp.
Aircraft Technical Publishers (ATP) has acquired CaseBank Technologies Inc, a Toronto-based provider of diagnostic, troubleshooting and fault detection solutions for the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed. ATP, which is headquartered in San Francisco, said the acquisition will enhance its information management and service offerings to customers in the aviation industry. ATP was acquired by U.S. private equity firm ParkerGale Capital in November 2015.