Waterloo Tech Highlights for October 2021

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. Not a lot of quantity this month but every story is significant in a sign we're moving from startups to scaleups.

D2L has filed to go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. While initially hoping to raise $200M they have reduced both the number of shares offered and share price and expect to raise about $150M with about $90M going to their balance sheet and giving them a valuation over $900M. John Baker will still control over 50% of the shares even after the offering, a remarkable achievement. They report US$144M ARR and US$138M of 12 month revenue at July 31, 2021. Lots of other interesting information available in their filing at sedar.com

Bridgit raised C$24M in a financing round led by Camber Creek and Storm Ventures. They grew their revenue by 2.5x in 2020 and are on track to do the same in 2021 as the result of a pivot they explain in the attached story.

Trusscore raised C$21M (plus converted a previous $5M SAFE Note) in a round led by Round 13 Capital with Garage Capital, John Baker and Carol Leaman also investing.

Magnet Forensics filed to raise an additional C$950M in a public offering following a very successful IPO earlier this year.

Sortable has been acquired by Freestar.

HockeyTech has been acquired by FloSports. The team plans to continue to operate in Waterloo.

Mappedin has hit their 2021 goals two months early and is tracking to grow 50% this year.

Intellijoint continues to announce moves beyond the operating room with VIEW, a new surgical planning solution.

Chris’ Thoughts

An interesting rabbit hole opened this month as I struggled with a mentor relationship where I feel that the other person has lost interest in learning.

It led me to wonder if I'm open to learn new things, which led me to start a specific list of the things I've learned this year. While it's not consequential, my incomplete list includes:

· When a horse leaves Iceland it can never return.

· It takes 2,472km to bike every paved road in Haliburton County.

· There are a couple Canadian wines that aren't awful.

· Risotto is fun to make and amazing to eat.

· Figuring out whether a person wants to win or would rather be king (or queen) is harder than it looks because many don’t know themselves until push comes to shove and preferences change over time.

· Government operation and function is as different and disconnected from Canada's commercial and daily life as water and ice.

· Cross country skiing is more like swimming than running in terms of fitness and strength development.

Looking it over, almost everything I count as learning came from an experience, as opposed to something that somebody told me. I'm sure I'm not alone in this and yet have glossed over the importance of experiential learning in my job as a mentor and investor for young entrepreneurs and CEOs. While we get overwhelmed with a deluge of advice and "you should's", adding to that will have less impact than figuring out how to create helpful learning experiences that produce a deeper impact but don't cause irreversible harm.

It's a subtle observation, but I think a powerful one and so I'd encourage you to go through the same exercise. Take a few minutes when you have down time today and write down everything that comes to mind that you've learned this year. Note how many of these are tied to experiences as opposed to something you read. But the real question comes when we look in the mirror and ask, " Why do I learn one way and expect the people I interact with to learn a different way?"

I'm still dwelling on what to do with that but would love your take.


I have tried to keep the focus of this newsletter on companies and not on the ecosystem players. It started after many conversations with potential investors living outside Waterloo who wanted a better sense what was going on here. It was partly inspired by Gary Will's Waterloo Tech Digest. Almost seven years later, it seems there's no shortage of information on funding and progress companies are making across the country. In particular, briefed.in has filled a gap, providing a just-the-facts approach to reporting on financings across the country. I don't know the team behind it, but if you don't subscribe yet, I suggest you do. They also publish a report on quarterly investment activity in the region here.

Waterloo Tech Highlights is a communication initiative run by a group of experienced investors and strategists who would like to receive and share real news about the vibrant Waterloo, Ontario tech community.

If you would like to share news with us, or our readers, email info@ironhorseangels.com. If you are interested in continuing to receive Waterloo Tech Highlights, you can subscribe here:


Chris Wormald @cwormald