Waterloo Tech Highlights for April 2024

Our goal is to provide you with a monthly primer on significant news events from private Waterloo-based technology companies in 5 minutes or less.


Another month of very little news.


Vidyard raised C$21M in funding last August but announced this month.  The round was led by EDC and included BMO, Battery Ventures, Bessemer and Inovia.  Funds were presumably to build and launch their new AI Avatars.  This fun video features a real and Avatar of CEO Michael Litt.

 

Intellijoint launched in Singapore.

 

KA Imaging signed distribution deals in China and Japan.

 

Shinydocs added over $1M of pipeline in April to their new Pro product.

 

D2L turned 25.




Chris’ Thoughts


“When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”

― John Maynard Keynes

 

Or in more modern (meme) prose:

I’m always looking for the right blend of conviction and mental flexibility in entrepreneurs.  Peter Thiel does a great job articulating the semi-insanity that entrepreneurs must have, believing in something that nobody else believes.  It’s a popular interview question among his followers.  And yet facts change and understandings shift and entrepreneurs live and die on when to pivot and when to double down and hold fast to their original conviction – decisions that only become clear in hindsight.  Heck, cocaine was medicine and an ingredient in Coca-Cola for over 20 years just 100 years ago.

 

With that here’s an example where I’ve changed my opinion with new facts coming to light.

 

Capital and Productivity

Like many I thought the artificial limits of using RRSP contributions for foreign investments were unhelpful to both me as an investor and to Canadian competitiveness.  Why do we need to have capital controls on our retirement planning when there’s a whole big world to invest in?  I applauded the day that foreign investment limits got dropped and thought it was a great policy decision. Evidently so did all of Canada’s largest pension funds, especially the CPP.

 

Matt Roberts writes an excellent where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire analysis on the devastating effect that eliminating foreign investment restrictions has had on capital availability in Canada and our resulting huge drop in global competitiveness and productivity.  It’s a worthwhile read.

 

Many of us feel that something is wrong in Canada and people of different political stripes have presented convincing arguments for the need to prioritize interest rates, labour productivity, GDP, immigration, tax reform and others.  Matt does a great job of providing hard data to present his argument.  He’s not the only one doing it but it’s a great piece of research that changed my intuition about what’s needed.

 



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Chris Wormald @cwormald