Government Invests in VC-Backed E-Commerce Firm


FedDev Ontario, the economic development agency of the Government of Canada, will invest up to C$975,000 in Well.ca Inc., a Guelph, Ontario-based company which sells a variety of health and beauty products online.  Well.ca is a portfolio company of iNovia Capital, a Montréal-based venture capital firm.

PRESS RELEASE

 Government of Canada Supports Innovative E-Commerce Solution in Guelph

December 14, 2012

Guelph, Ontario — Michael Chong, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced today an investment for Well.ca Inc. to develop an innovative e-commerce software solution that will benefit online Canadian retailers and will create jobs.

“Our Government is committed to helping southern Ontario companies expand and become industry leaders in the global marketplace through innovation,” said MP Chong. “This investment will help create local jobs and support innovative technology that in turn will allow Canadian retailers to better compete for online consumers.”

Well.ca is receiving a repayable contribution of up to $975,000 under FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative to create and test a generalized version of Well.ca’s proprietary e-commerce software platform. The funding will also allow the company to create and commercialize several new applications to be used alongside the online retail platform, such as an on-the-go shopping feature with a mobile barcode reader and shopping list management features.

The resulting technology will allow Well.ca to develop customized online retail environments for a variety of companies, giving Canadian businesses an advantage in the e-commerce market. The company expects to create up to 13 high-quality jobs as result of this project.

“Our goal at Well.ca is to harness creativity and innovation to make the lives of Canadians easy and affordable,” said Ali Asaria, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Well.ca. “FedDev Ontario’s investment will fuel that innovation, allowing us to deliver the future of shopping from coast to coast, and solidifying Canada as a global leader in e-commerce.”

The success of the Investing in Business Innovation initiative relies on leveraging private sector investments and partnerships. The FedDev Ontario investment has helped Well.ca raised up to $2 million from venture capital firm iNovia Capital Inc. for this project.

Since 2008, Well.ca has become Canada’s largest online health and beauty store, a success that is built upon its proprietary e-commerce software platform which manages everything from online shopping experience to seamless order fulfillment and product distribution.

The Investing in Business Innovation initiative is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds. Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario website.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region’s strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region’s businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

 

 

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