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October Wrap-Up: Two Unicorns and Canada's top tech university

Business and investment news stories from Waterloo, Canada in October 2020, including news from Arctic Wolf, Faire and the University of Waterloo.

October was a great month for Waterloo’s tech ecosystem, with the region’s talent and scale-up companies taking centre stage. This month, Waterloo gained another unicorn, celebrated Canada’s top technology university and saw local companies accelerate their growth.

Here are our top stories from October 2020:

Arctic Wolf raises $200 million to become Waterloo’s latest unicorn

Waterloo-based cybersecurity company Arctic Wolf raised $200 million in Series E funding at a $1.3 billion valuation. The funding will be used to help the company introduce new security operations offerings and expand into new markets.

Arctic Wolf is the latest in a series of Waterloo companies to achieve unicorn status over the past year, including edtech company ApplyBoard and online retailer innovator Faire.

Faire raises $170 million and doubles their valuation to $2.5 billion

Speaking of Faire, the online wholesale marketplace doubled their valuation to $2.5 billion following a $170 million Series E funding round. The company, which has raised nearly $440 million over the past three years, plans to use the new funding to expand internationally.

The University of Waterloo ranks #1 in Canada for computer science, engineering and mathematics

New rankings from Maclean’s Magazine recognized the University of Waterloo’s (UWaterloo) computer science, engineering and mathematics programs as the best in Canada. UWaterloo was also ranked as the second-best comprehensive university – ­based on the school’s balance between strong research and academics – and the third-best Canadian university overall.

Read our article on five astounding facts about UWaterloo to learn more about what makes this school so special.

Knowledgehook raises $20 million as the COVID-19 pandemic fuels edtech growth

Edtech company Knowledgehook, which offers a comprehensive math learning platform for students and teachers, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round. The money will be used to accelerate the company’s market leadership and advance their research-based learning solutions.

Waterloo company Miovision wins Canadian innovation award

Kitchener-based Miovision was recognized as Canada’s most innovative company by the Canadian Innovation Exchange. Founded by UWaterloo engineering grads, Miovision created a smart traffic platform that uses computer vision, artificial intelligence and computer modelling to help improve traffic conditions. Earlier in 2020, this fast-growing company raised $120 million to accelerate the growth of its platform and market.

Perimeter Institute launches Clay Riddell Centre for Quantum Matter

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics launched a new Centre for Quantum Matter thanks to a $10 million investment from the Riddell Family Charitable Foundation. The centre will connect more than two dozen researchers and students working to make Canada a leader in quantum matter research. Quantum matter research holds significant promise in the creation of high-efficiency solar power generation, high-capacity batteries and loss-less energy transmission, among other technologies.

The donation is part of a 10-year, $25-million investment into quantum matter research.

New partnership helps Waterloo companies enter Asian markets

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology partnered with Japanese accelerator Landing Pad Tokyo to introduce technology developed by the University of Waterloo into Japanese markets. The partnership was created to help Waterloo companies expand into Asian markets and advance the research and development of new technologies.

Lazaridis Institute’s ScaleUp program accepts 13 tech companies

The Lazaridis Institute for the Management of Technology Enterprises selected 13 companies for the sixth cohort of its ScaleUp program. These companies, which are part of the largest cohort in the program’s history, are some of Canada’s highest-potential growth-stage tech companies.

Two Waterloo-based companies, Diva International and O2 Industries, were among those selected for the program.

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