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News round-up: Seven business and investment stories from October 2019

A round-up of news stories from Waterloo, Canada in October 2019, including new business expansions, centres of innovation and accelerator programs.

Several exciting business developments emerged from Waterloo throughout the month of October as businesses announced new expansions, centres of innovation and accelerator programs.

Here are seven breaking business and investment stories from the last month:

1. Ford Motor Company unveils innovation centre in Waterloo

One of the world’s largest automotive companies has joined Waterloo – one of Canada’s top autotech ecosystems – in a very big way. Ford Motor Company surprised many in the community with the announcement that they had quietly built a team of 150 in Waterloo over the last two-and-a-half-years. This month, they held an event to introduce their new Waterloo Connectivity and Innovation Centre, which will work on vehicle communications and infotainment infrastructure. Read full coverage from the Waterloo Region Record

2. Waterloo-based Faire reaches $1B valuation

With headquarters in both Waterloo and San Francisco, Faire operates an increasingly popular wholesale marketplace for independent local retailers. This month, the company announced having officially raised $150 million in a Series D funding round, bringing their total funding raised to date to $266 million and their company value to $1 billion. Read full coverage from Crunchbase News and learn more about the company’s unique expansion tactics in a piece we wrote earlier this year.

3. BlackBerry launches new cybersecurity R&D lab in Waterloo

Since their acquisition of Cylance, an artificial intelligence and cybersecurity company, BlackBerry has become one of the world’s largest cybersecurity firms. Earlier this month, the company announced the launch of a new cybersecurity research and development lab operating within their Waterloo office. Check out the piece we wrote about it, or read full coverage from VentureBeat to find out what they’ll be working on.

4. Carta opens first Canadian office in Waterloo

On October 15th, California-based fintech company Carta Inc. announced that they will open their first Canadian office in Waterloo, hiring 51 employees. Carta CEO Henry Ward said the office is set to become “their next great R&D centre” in his blog post announcing the expansion. To learn more about why the company chose to expand to Waterloo, check out our coverage.

5. Accelerator Centre launches Canada’s first Amazon Alexa voice tech accelerator program

Sliding in at the end of the month with exciting news, Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre announced that applications are now open to join Canada’s first and only Amazon Alexa accelerator program. Thanks to this fruitful collaboration, five companies from across Canada will partake in a unique opportunity to advance their voice-powered technologies over a six to twelve month period.

6. AVIN Waterloo Ventures Fund welcomes its first cohort of eight companies

The Automotive Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) Ventures Fund was established to support companies developing autonomous vehicles and connected transportation technology. This month, eight companies were selected to form the fund’s first cohort – five of which are based in Waterloo. Fostered by the Ontario Centre of Excellence and key local partners, participating companies will receive up to $50,000 to fund their respective projects. Read full coverage from Communitech News.

7. Waterloo companies appear on new global cybersecurity ranking

Leading researcher of the global cybersecurity economy, Cybersecurity Ventures, published a list of the Hot 150 cybersecurity companies to watch in 2020 this month. Five Waterloo companies – headquartered or with operations here – were on the list. We broke down who these companies are and what makes them globally competitive in a recent blog post.

Want to learn more?