Top Startups / June 7, 2021
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

Top Canadian Startups To Watch in 2021

Canada frequently gets overlooked when you think of startups, that's probably due to its close proximity to the USA and Silicon Valley. Despite this, the country has a thriving startup ecosystem that cannot be overlooked. Canada's startups are actually in many cases just as exciting as their American counterparts. In fact, Canada has been placed as the fourth most influential startup hub worldwide, behind the USA, Israel, and the United Kingdom. As a result of this, there are many top Canadian startups to watch in 2021.

The total spent in the Canadian VC market on Canadian startups has also seen increases in the past year, despite the initial depression caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Total investment activities across three quarters totaled $405 Million, which dwarfs the $263 Million spent on Canadian startups during the same period in the previous year. A large majority of these startups come from Toronto, but you may be surprised to see a few other locations featuring on this list.

1. ApplyBoard

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Waterloo, Canada

Size: 501-1000

Founder(s): Martin Basiri, Massi Basiri, Meti Basiri

ApplyBoard is an educational software startup that was founded in 2015 and is currently based in Waterloo, Canada. The company offers the largest platform for assisting students across the globe. This is achieved by providing a single solution to connect students with recruiters and different education providers. So far the company has had the honor of helping more than 120,00 students across the world to continue their paths in education.

ApplyBoard is an example of a Canadian startup that has done extremely well when it comes to attracting outside investment. So far, the company has received investment from a group of twenty-one different investors. Collectively, these investors have pledged $178.3 Million to the company. The company has also been active in investing in other businesses, having invested in Guiker in 2019.

2. Wealthsimple

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Brett Huneycutt, Michael Katchen, Rudy Adler

Wealthsimple is a Canadian startup that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. Their solutions are tailored to the individual investor who wants to grow their returns. Their platform will build an investor a diverse portfolio of assets, based on their requirements. This takes a lot of the leg work and stress of investment out of the process, which is obviously good news for users of the platform. They help you to achieve the goals that you set out for your finances.

Wealthsimple has amassed a gargantuan amount of outside investment to further the development of its platform. To date, the company has managed to raise 1.1 Billion CAD from investors. This came from a group of seventeen different investors, which include famous actor Ryan Reynolds and the Michael J. Fox Foundation among others.

3. StackAdapt

Year Founded: 2013

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 251-500

Founder(s): Vitaly Pecherskiy, Yang Han

StackAdapt is a Canadian startup that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. The company makes its success by assisting other businesses with their adverts and the actual targeting of these adverts to increase sales and also retain existing customers. Their advanced data and targeting methods will get your business in front of the right audience. This explains their success since being founded in 2013.

In the eight years since being founded, StackAdapt has managed to attract investment from three different sources. This investment has developed to the tune of $1.6 Million. The investment shows that there are affluent backers that are willing to get behind the vision and methodology of the company.

4. KOHO Financial

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Daniel Eberhard, Jonathan Bixby, Joshua Bixby, Mike Benna

KOHO Financial is a fintech startup that was founded in 2014 and is currently based in Toronto, Canada. They have their own app-based banking system that makes the process of accessing financial products simpler for customers. The app also includes a wide array of tools for financial planning and much more. KOHO Financial is helping people of all ages to take control of their finances.

Investors have already taken notice of KOHO Financial and clearly believe in the value of the company. This can be seen from the fact that the company has managed to raise $113.4 Million from a group of sixteen different investors. This investment and the advanced offering of the company are likely to drive it forward to additional success in the new decade.

5. Ada

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Mike Murchison

Ada is a software development startup that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. The company itself specializes in the use of chatbots powered by AI to help businesses to provide better customer support. This platform works for both mobile and desktop interactions, which further adds to the utility of their offering. Since being founded in 2016, the company has already established itself as one of the major players in chatbot technology in Canada.

Investors have clearly been impressed by the company's roadmap and previous performance as $190.6 Million has been raised by Ada. This highlights the faith that investors have in Canada's startups. This comes from a large group of investors that is sixteen in number. With this massive level of backing and their expert team, the company looks poised to attack the new decade and achieve further success.

6. Loopio

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 101-250

Founder(s): Jafar Owainati, Matt York, Zakir Hemraj

Loopio is a software startup specifically for knowledge management that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. The company's offering is specific to helping large enterprises to respond to a variety of different things such as RFPs, RFIs, and more. This makes sure that sales content is available on an organizational scale and makes collaborating a much easier task.

Loopio has already received a very significant sum of funding from investors after only seven years in business. So far, a total of 263 Million CAD has been raised from a group of three investors. This has cemented Loopio as one of the most exciting up-and-coming startups in Canada.

7. Nudge

Year Founded: 2012

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Dessy Daskalov, Jordan Ekers, Lindsey Goodchild

Nudge is a software and communications startup that was founded in 2012 and is currently headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Their software seeks to improve the work lives of deskless employees by arming them with the key information and insights that they need to succeed in their roles. This also improves the capabilities for collaboration within the organization. Their offering is backed by social science and a high degree of customer satisfaction.

Investors have already shown that they believe in the potential of Nudge, as is the case with a number of Canada's startups. This is highlighted by the fact that a group of twelve different investors has put their money into the business. This investment has allowed the company to amass $15.9 Million in funding and will certainly put the company on track to reach further goals in 2021 and beyond.

8. Borrowell

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Andrew Graham, Eva Wong

Borrowell is a Fintech company that is currently headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company aims to help people to learn how to better manage their money. This is achieved through giving free access to credit scores, personalized credit score management tips, and recommendations for financial products based on the input of an AI. This ensures that the solution of the end-user is the right one for their needs.

Many people have already recognized the good work of Borrowell and have decided to get involved. The company has entertained a mammoth group of 25 investors, inputting $92 Million into the business. The company has also made an acquisition, specifically at the end of 2020 when the company bought out Refresh Financial.

9. Integrate.ai

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Steve Irvine

Integrate.ai is a Canadian startup that specializes in the use of artificial intelligence to create its software. Their offering is built off of their provision of B2C-specific AI that can interact with customers organically. The company was founded by Steve Irvine, a former executive at Facebook and with the AI revolution currently underway, Integrate.ai could be spearheading B2C AI usage in Canada and eventually, further afield.

The business model and offers provided by Integrate.ai have clearly been enough to gain trust from investors. Since being founded in 2017, the company has been injected with a cumulative $39.6 Million from a group of seven different investors. Times have been very tough in the B2C sector and more businesses are likely to invest in this type of technology to improve interactions and retain customers.

10. League

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Michael Serbinis

League is a healthcare and IT startup that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. The startup seeks to take the stress out of managing employee health benefits. Their solution covers all of this under one roof and removes a lot of the busy work from the lives of HR managers. This is achieved through automation within their platform. This helpful offering has led to the company making waves in Canada since being founded in 2014.

The company has been very active and successful in seeking out investment to further develop its platform. In total, the company has amassed $76.1 Million in funding from a massive group of 17 investors. With this level of backing and the strength of the company's offering, they are likely to continue with this success in 2021.

11. RVezy

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Ottawa, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Michael McNaught, Tomas Kolafa

RVezy is an e-commerce and travel startup that focuses on the RV rental market in North America. The company provides a marketplace that allows users to easily and cost-effectively rent an RV for their travel excursions. This also allows users to rent out their own RV to earn extra income, whilst having the peace of mind that their vehicle is safe and that the risk of them losing out is minimal.

Despite the seeming niche segment of the market targeted by RVezy, investors have still taken an interest in the project. So far, the company has managed to raise an impressive total of 23 Million CAD. This has come from a group of three investors and as more people are wanting to get away as a result of COVID, the company will likely find even further success in the future.

12. EventMobi

Year Founded: 2010

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 51-100

Founder(s): Bob Vaez

EventMobi is a Canadian startup that was founded in 2010 and is currently based in Toronto, Canada. Their platform allows event hosts to create specialized apps specifically for their event, within only a matter of minutes. Their solution is available in a variety of different languages and has advanced features designed to retain audience engagement. This is more important than ever in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the fact that EventMobi has not received any outside investment funding, that does not mean that the company has not been making other moves. For example, the company acquired the education technology startup Understoodit in 2013.

13. Precision.ai

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Regina, Canada

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Daniel McCann

Precision.ai is an artificial intelligence tech startup that specializes in providing drone solutions for agriculture. The aim of the Precision team is to provide automated solutions for spraying crops to protect them from pests. These solutions can be used by both large and small farms, with all being able to achieve benefits from this. From the perspective of a farmer, anything that can save them time is going to be a big win.

It's not only farmers that have shown support for Precision.ai, as investors have collectively backed the company with $20 Million. This has come from a group of seven different investors and as farming continues to advance in the modern age, it is likely that their solutions will see increasing use in the future.

14. Wingocard

Year Founded: 2019

HQ: Montreal, Canada

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Mehdi Mehni, Salvatore D'Agostino, Sebastien Brault

Wingocard is a Canadian startup that is currently based in the city of Montreal. At the heart of the company's offering is a mobile app with a mission to put young people into the heart of the digital economy. The rationale behind this is that it will teach them financial literacy and will put them on a better path in life. For example, parents are able to send their children money and control the ways in which they spend it.

Despite only being founded a couple of years ago, Wingocard has already appeared on the radar of a few investors. Four different investors have pledged their support to the fintech startup, with a respectable $1.7 Million being raised to further the development of their platform. With financial literacy among young people being a major issue worldwide, Wingocard is going to be a great option for parents worldwide.

15. Maple

Year Founded: 2015

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Brett Belchetz, Roxana Zaman, Stuart Starr

Maple is a healthcare and IT startup that is currently based in Toronto, Canada. The company uses its platform to connect patients with licensed medical professionals, no matter the time of day. This makes it easier for people to get urgent support and cuts down on the stress of waiting in long lines. The convenience provided by Maple has been a driving factor in the company's early success as a whole.

The company has managed to attract a very respectable sum in outside investment. So far Maple has received backing to the tune of $71.7 Million from a group of seven investors. It should be noted that one of these investors is in fact the Royal Bank of Canada. With this funding and their plan for success, 2021 is likely to be the flagship year for Maple.

16. Delphia

Year Founded: 2018

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Andrew Peek, Cameron Westland, Clifton van der Linden, Jonathan Briggs

Delphia is an artificial intelligence-based fintech startup that was founded in 2018 and is currently headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company has developed an investment advice tool that not only advises but also allows customers to invest data in addition to money. By gathering the opinions of users, the company can make predictions on the market and tailor investment advice to reflect this. This is supported through the use of advanced machine learning algorithms.

Investors have already shown faith in the technology and previous history of Delphia. This is demonstrated by the fact that the company has already attracted investment from sixteen different sources. This investment has come to a collective total of $14.1 Million and the company is poised to make great strides as it continues to grow.

17. Clir Renewables

Year Founded: 2016

HQ: Richmond, Canada

Size: 11-50

Founder(s): Gareth Brown, Jake Gray

Clir Renewables is a technology startup that specializes in the renewable energy market, which is booming as concern over climate change continues to mount. Clir Renewables provides a solution in the form of software that provides reports and conducts optimization on renewable energy plants. This increases the efficiency of the output at these plants, which will help to drive the renewable revolution forward.

So far, a significant group of investors has pledged their money to Clir Renewables, a sign that some are listening to their green message. So far, $32 Million has been raised from a group of ten investors. This is a sign that the company has a workable business model and that its current offering is satisfying its clients.

18. Brizo Data

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Quebec, Canada

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Audrey Bilsborrow, Gaétan Corneau, Ian Delisle, Jean-Sébastien Vachon, Trevor Shimizu

Brizo Data is a software startup specializing in analytics and is currently based in Quebec, Canada. Since being founded in 2017, the company has found success in its mission to provide actionable and accurate insights to businesses that work in foodservice. This helps them to make better decisions and stay at the front of the market- which is critical in the massively competitive food industry.

Since being founded four years ago, the company has attracted the interest of one investor. This investor is Branded Hospitality Ventures and they pledged 1.6 Million CAD to fund the company's operations. Restaurants and similar businesses are going to need every advantage they can get coming out of COVID-19, which means their offering is more valuable now than ever before.

19. Giiant Pharma

Year Founded: 2014

HQ: Montreal, Canada

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Elizabeth Kwong

Giiant Pharma is a biotechnology startup that was founded by Elizabeth Kwong and is currently headquartered in Montreal, Canada. The company itself creates solutions for treating gut-related issues within patients. They are seeking to make the drugs for these conditions more tolerable, whilst also enhancing the end results of the treatment itself.

Investors have already begun to take notice of the good work that Giiant Pharma is doing, with a group of six investors already backing the startup. These investments have totaled $13.5 Million CAD. This money will likely be used to further the groundbreaking research and development being conducted by the company.

20. Wombo

Year Founded: 2020

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Ben Zion Benkhin

Wombo is an artificial intelligence and social media startup that seeks to put a fun spin on the 'deepfake' revolution. The premise behind the app is that it creates deepfake videos of the subject of the image, which will then lip-sync to a song in the background. Any song can be used and the craze of Wombo has already begun to take off since the app was first released in 2020.

Wombo has already attracted a notable amount of investment from outside parties that believe in the company. For instance, to date, seven different investors have put money into the project, with the total coming to $6 Million. It is nice to see something positive come out of a news story that regularly carries creepy and sinister connotations.

21. Willful

Year Founded: 2017

HQ: Toronto, Canada

Size: 1-10

Founder(s): Erin Bury, Kevin Oulds

Willful is a legal technology startup that was founded in 2017 and is currently headquartered in Toronto, Canada. The company aims to make the process of planning your estate much easier and more convenient. Their online platform allows users to create a will that is considered legally binding within 20-minutes. This saves time and money on finding a lawyer to handle the creation of the will for you.

The money-saving and stress-relieving work of the team at Willfull has already led to the company getting some investment since being founded in 2017. The company has managed to a total a collective 800,000 CAD to further fund the development of their offering. This total came from a group of seven investors. They also acquired fellow legal technology startup WillowBee at the end of 2020.

Top Canadian Startups To Watch...
Asaf Fybish

Asaf Fybish is a growth marketing professional. He likes all things organic, especially when it comes to growth. He's our Chief of Stash at StartupStash

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