Telus acquisition of Decisive Farming adds to list of Alberta startup exits
The recent acquisition of Calgary-based technology business, Decisive Farming by Telus is just the latest in a series of technology startup success stories for Alberta.
Terms of the Decisive Farming deal were not disclosed but Remi Schmaltz, CEO of Decisive Farming, confirmed the transaction with AFN: “Yes, Decisive Farming has joined the Telus family. Telus is making a commitment to help the industry that our food system is built on. They aren’t just a telecom company, they know technology and how to bring solutions together in new ways, making things easier while leveraging the power of information. We remain committed to bringing farmers new solutions that help them collaborate, make timely decisions and achieve improved profitability.”
Remi is a fourth-generation agribusiness owner, and founded the startup in 2011 after he started incubating technologies at the family agriculture retail company Dynagra Corp with his brother. Accelerate Fund I participated in $6-million Series A financing into Decisive Farming in 2016. The round was led by McRock Capital, an Alberta Enterprise portfolio fund, with participation from Export Development Canada. Since then Decisive Farming, a precision agriculture and data analytics software platform, went on to secure a Series B investment of an undisclosed amount, once again led by McRock Capital, and soon after announced the acquisition by Telus.
The successful exit by Decisive Farming follows another promising agritech investment by Accelerate Fund II into Edmonton-based G2V Optics. The company produces Engineered Sunlight™ smart lighting technology to produce optimal growth conditions for indoor farming and rigorous testing tools for solar-related products. By reproducing the full dynamic spectral complexity of sunlight, G2V Optics is helping growers of high value vegetables, fruits, spices and medicines to improve plant chemistry and crop productivity while reducing the energy consumption and cost of their farming.
As Accelerate Fund continues to invest in early-stage Alberta technology businesses with demonstrated initial success, more successful exits from past investments are hitting the news.
Calgary-based Passportal was acquired in April 2019 by SolarWinds, a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software. Passportal began as an IT security innovator offering MSPs, VARs and ITSPs fully managed, cloud-based software to simplify storing, managing and retrieving passwords as well as providing secure client document management tools from any connected device. Passportal secured investment from Accelerate Fund II invested in 2017.
Mobile Data Technologies was acquired by a significant U.S. energy services company in December 2013. MDT is focused on bringing the most advanced and robust data acquisition and control products to the oil and gas industry. The company secured investment from Accelerate Fund I invested in 2013.
More exit success stories are expected as the impact of the Alberta Enterprise Corporation-backed Accelerate Fund pays off for local startups in the coming years. And it’s not just capital that’s having impact, it’s the fund’s growth network.
As Ryan Tucker, CEO of G2V Optics explains about their evaluation of funding partners: “We were looking for people who had been down roads we hadn’t, and who we trusted. A number of people we met had massively successful businesses but not in a comparable industry, and not necessarily built out in a way that reflected our values. With Accelerate Fund and A100, we met people who were networked globally, and knew how to build businesses from western Canada.”
Keeping promising Alberta tech entrepreneurs based here impacts the entire province. As Tim Regnier CEO and Co-founder of Accelerate Fund’s most recent investment Smart Access commented, “Hiring is our focus right now, we welcomed seven people in the first weeks of January alone. Alberta is a great place to find talented developers, and with Edmonton’s Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), the province is home to an engine of knowledge workers vital for tech sector growth.”
Accelerate Fund continues to expand the promise of Alberta technology innovation with funding and a powerful network of support and resources for Alberta startups.