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News round-up: 10 business and investment stories from March 2019

A round-up of news stories from Waterloo, Canada in March 2019. This provides a high-level view of relevant news for businesses looking to expand.

There was a lot of exciting news in Waterloo over the last month, including investment and expansion announcements from numerous tech and robotics companies, an exciting new global product launch from Google Canada’s Waterloo office and more.

Here are 10 great business and investment stories:

1. A multi-billion dollar development boom in Waterloo

In just a few short years, the downtown Kitchener area – where you’ll find Google, Vidyard, North and Deloitte, among others – expects to see 18 developments worth almost $1 billion come online. This includes 387,000 square feet of office space – so, if you’re a site selection professional or planning an expansion, keep Waterloo Region in mind.

In total, our community has more than $2 billion of planned developments in the pipeline. Read the full story here.

2. eSentire announces multi-million dollar investment and expansion

Just weeks after BlackBerry announced a $1.4 billion cybersecurity acquisition, another Waterloo-based security company made an announcement of their own. eSentire, a fast-growing scale-up, announced $47 million in raised funds and a relocation within Waterloo to a bigger facility that’s right beside their main talent source, the University of Waterloo.

Read our story about this investment and expansion here.

3. FinTech is exploding in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor

A new report from Toronto Finance International has found that investment in the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor FinTech community grew to a total of $221 million across 25 deals in 2018. This represents a ten-fold growth in just five years.

Read the full story from BetaKit here.

4. Waterloo-based Google Canada leads the way on gaming innovation

Google made big news this week with the global release of Stadia, their brand new game streaming service. A big part of this news: this new product was developed in Waterloo at Google Canada’s engineering headquarters.

Read the whole story from Mobilesyrup.

5. Artificial intelligence meets advanced manufacturing

AI thought leader and University of Waterloo professor Alex Wong was quoted throughout an article about the application of artificial intelligence to the advanced manufacturing industry in a new piece from Manufacturing Automation.

In the article, Wong talks at length about how “flashier” applications tend to get more attention, but things like AI-powered predictive maintenance and visual quality inspection providing immediate opportunities in manufacturing.

6. Waterloo continues to lead in smart city technology

Waterloo-based smart cities tech company Miovision, along with other local businesses including MappedIn and Geotab, launched the Open City Network, a non-profit that aims to develop best practices regarding data governance and technology in smart cities.

Read the whole story at BetaKit.

7. Robotics firm Avidbots raises $23.6 million

Waterloo-based Avidbots, a company that makes industrial floor-cleaning robots that are used in large facilities around the world – including Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and Toronto’s Eaton Centre mall – has announced $23.6 million in new money raised and plans to hire 50 additional employees.

Read the full story from the Waterloo Region Record here.

8. Bridgit keeps building the future of construction through tech

It wasn’t just eSentire and Avidbots with big money news in March. Bridgit, a Waterloo-based tech company that focuses on construction project management, announced the conclusion of a successful new funding round totalling $6.2 million.

You can read more about Bridgit and their raise in this story from The Globe and Mail.

9. Wawanesa moves toward innovating at scale

A new article from Canadian Underwriter takes a close look at insurance company Wawanesa’s innovation strategy, which kicked into high gear when they opened an Innovation Outpost in Waterloo at Communitech last June.

10. New Cluster Map and video from Waterloo EDC

Over the last month, we released our third and final Cluster Map for 2019 – a full business listing for the security community – following our successful artificial intelligence and autotech launches.

We also released a new video profiling the unique strengths of our autotech community. Check them out!

Want to learn more about our ecosystem?