raises $5.7 mln follow-on round led by Real Ventures

Artificial Intelligence; Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kacper Pempel, a Toronto-based artificial intelligence (AI) enterprise software company, has raised about $5.7 million (US$$4.625 million) in a follow-on financing. The round was led by Real Ventures, according to a report by the Globe and Mail. It was joined by several other investors, including Georgian Partners, which led the US$5 million seed round that launched earlier this year. A larger Series A financing is planned for 2018., founded by CEO Steve Irvine, Facebook Inc’s former marketing-partner program head, also announced appointments to its strategic advisory board, including Georgian’s Justin LaFayette and Real Ventures’ Mike Shaver.

PRESS RELEASE announces advisory board and strategic investment round

Harley Finkelstein, Jordan Banks, Scott Bonham among international business leaders appointed to advisory board

TORONTO, Sept. 6, 2017 /CNW/ –, a Toronto-based AI enterprise SaaS company, announced today the creation of a strategic advisory board comprising esteemed international business leaders who will advise the company as it looks to develop a next generation artificial intelligence business platform.

The members of this new strategic advisory board bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from a variety of industries, and will be tremendous resources to the leadership team, strengthening’s ability to apply AI to drive customer engagement and revenue growth.

“This group of distinguished individuals will help develop strong enterprise relationships and build a world-class AI SaaS platform that fundamentally reshapes the way businesses will assess, engage, and optimize the relationship with their consumers and drive business growth. We have assembled a team with proven track records for building successful companies on disruptive technologies and deep technical and policy experts,” said Steve Irvine, Founder and CEO of “Advisory board members will play an active role in the business as we grow our customer base and bring our product to market.”

As part of the creation of this advisory board, has also closed a strategic investment round of $4.625M (USD), comprising key investors, including advisory board members, employees, and leading AI-focused venture capital firms Georgian Partners and Real Ventures. has previously announced a $5M (USD) seed round investment by Georgian Partners in February of this year. A larger institutional Series A round is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

“ is developing a much needed software that will transform the ways in which businesses employ AI to improve the customer experience, a space we believe has a tremendous potential based on existing and future market demand,” said Mike Shaver, Real Ventures. “Participating in this early strategic round is an exciting opportunity to be part of the story, alongside their exceptional team.”

“The technology, the approach, and the scalable revenue model is developing is unique across the booming AI space,” said Harley Finkelstein, COO at Shopify. “Having reviewed numerous investment and business opportunities in the AI sector, I’m confident’s approach will result in a long-term profitable business model that defines the sector.”

Advisory Board Appointments

Praveen Arichandran, Director of Growth at Tesla
An expert in growth strategy and a trusted advisor, Praveen Arichandran is the Director of Growth at Tesla where he leads a data-driven team focused on scaling the business. Prior to joining Tesla, Praveen served as a Product Manager at and as a Product Manager and growth team member at Facebook.

Jordan Banks, former Managing Director at Facebook and Instagram, Canada and former Global Head of Vertical Strategy at Facebook Inc.
Veteran Consumer Tech and Media executive, Jordan is the former Managing Director at Facebook and Instagram, Canada where he led and managed all commercial operations in that market. Jordan is also the former Global Head of Vertical Strategy at Facebook Inc. where he was responsible for developing strategies and initiatives focused on transforming businesses in Facebook’s key industry categories globally. A dedicated member of the community, Jordan also sits on several Boards including Cineplex Entertainment, the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, the University of Waterloo and The Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation as well as being an advisor to OMERS Ventures.

Scott Bonham, Board Director at Magna, Scotiabank and Loblaw
Scott brings a combination of technology investing marketing experience as the co-founder of GGV Capital and is an active board director at Magna, Scotiabank and Loblaw. Committed to encouraging innovation in Canada, Scott is the former co-chair of the C100, which provides mentorship and access to growth capital for Canadian entrepreneurs. Scott also sits on the of C100 and the Vector Institute.

David Court, Director Emeritus at McKinsey & Company
A distinguished business leader and strategic advisor, David Court is a former Director (Senior Partner) at McKinsey & Company where he was the Firm’s Global Director of Technology, Digitization and Communications. David was responsible for founding and leading McKinsey’s global practice in harnessing Big Data and Advanced Analytics from 2011 to 2015 and also led all of McKinsey’s global functional practices.

Harley Finkelstein, Chief Operating Officer at Shopify
An entrepreneur, lawyer, and Chief Operating Officer at Shopify, Harley Finkelstein founded his first company at the age of 17 while a student at McGill. He is a board member of the C100, and an advisor to both OMERS Ventures and Felicis Ventures. He is also one of the “Dragons” on CBC’s Next Gen Den.

Justin LaFayette, Managing Partner at Georgian Partners
An established investment leader, Justin is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Georgian Partners, where his successful investments include 41st Parameter, WorkFusion, Kinnser Software, Shopify, Signpost and now, to name a few. Prior to Georgian Partners, Justin served as Vice President of Strategy for Information Platform and Solutions with IBM Software. Previous to that, he was a co-founder of DWL, an enterprise software company that grew over 10 years to become a leader in master data management (MDM).

Helen Nissenbaum, Professor of Information Science, Cornell Tech
Expert in ethical and political implications of digital technologies, Helen Nissenbaum is a professor of information science at Cornell Tech, Cornell University’s new campus in New York City. Her books include Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest, with F. Brunton, Values at Play in Digital Games, with M. Flanagan, and Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Recipient of the 2014 Barwise Prize of the American Philosophical Association, Nissenbaum has contributed to privacy-enhancing software: TrackMeNot and AdNauseam, and has earned grants from the US National Science Foundation and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Stanford University.

André Perey, Partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP
Andre Perey is an expert in the areas of corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital financing law at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP where he advises a broad range of foreign and Canadian clients operating in various industries. He represents emerging and growth stage businesses, and strategic and financial investors in and acquirers of such businesses, and is involved in numerous local and national innovation, incubator and business accelerator initiatives. Andre has been at the center of some of the largest and most strategic M&A activity in the AI space.

Mike Shaver, General Partner at Real Ventures
Passionate about helping grow teams who create great businesses, Mike is a General Partner at Real Ventures with a formidable track record of building product and engineering teams and scaling organizations. Prior to Real Ventures, he held executive leadership positions at companies like Mozilla, and Facebook.

About is a leading AI enterprise SaaS company that enables companies to transform into customer-centric businesses, driving growth and increased customer satisfaction. The platform applies cutting-edge artificial intelligence algorithms to a unique combination of social media, alternative data, and first party data to personalize and optimize engagements with customers that lead to more profitable business outcomes for enterprise clients. is headquartered in Toronto, Canada with operations in San Francisco and is comprised of leading AI talent and entrepreneurial leadership from around the world. Visit for more information.

For further information: Rob Hogan, 647.404.4808, [email protected]

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Kacper Pempel

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