Inovia Q1–2: AlayaCare $37M, Sonder $170M, Symend $52M, WorkJam $50M, $8M Tugboat Logic, North acq. by Google, Rubikloud acq. by Kinaxis

COVID has offered time to reflect on a more inclusive definition of health

We regret not having the chance to connect in person at our AGM in May, but want to thank our investors again for joining our virtual session, and look forward to hosting you all in 2021 in Montreal.

We delayed some communications during the early stages of COVID, so this update includes Q1 announcements. Since January, Inovia Growth has led rounds of US $37M in AlayaCare, US $50M in WorkJam, and US $52M in Symend, plus one unannounced; we also co-led the US $170M Series E round in Sonder, alongside Westcap and Fidelity. The Venture team led US $8M in Tugboat Logic, BenchSci raised US $22M and Armored Things raised US $7M while both Poka and OTTO Motors (Clearpath) secured strategic rounds. North was acquired by Google and Rubikloud was acquired by Ottawa-based Kinaxis.

Following an investment in seed fund Ada Ventures, we extended our European reach through an investment in Connect Ventures.

Inovia Partner Patrick Pichette shared exciting news that he has taken on the role of Chairman of the Board at Twitter, while Inovia also welcomed former Googler Raif Jacobs to the team as Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR). Raif brings 25 years of tech operating and investing experience, including a recent role as Global CFO of Deliveroo.

Our extended distance has naturally given way to introspection and renewal, and as we shared at the beginning of our AGM (and on our blog), we’re continuing to take this time to chart a more inclusive path forward for our team and how we approach our work. How are your teams thinking about inclusivity, social equity and systemic change? Please reach out and share, as we value your thoughts and welcome the conversation.

In the news

  • Home healthcare provider AlayaCare announced a US $37M Series C in January 👩🏾‍⚕️ | Cision
  • Sonder grows to US $1.3B valuation despite the COVID-impacted travel slump 🛏️ | Forbes
  • Symend accelerates its effort to reinvent the customer engagement experience with US $52M raise 💸 | TechCrunch
  • WorkJam announced its US $50M raise, to improve the work experience for frontline employees 🛒 | VentureBeat
  • Armored Things raised US $7M to help large venues reopen more quickly — led by Will Ventures, with participation from Inovia, Splunk, Glasswing Ventures and MassVentures 🏟️ | Bostinno
  • Read about IT and security compliance startup Tugboat Logic’s Series A led by Inovia Capital 🔒 | BetaKit
  • OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics added a US $29M round of strategic funding 🦾 | TechCrunch
  • Poka also raised a strategic round — welcoming SE Ventures, the VC arm of Schneider Electric to the investor table 🧑‍🏭 | BetaKit
  • Top Hat acquired 400 higher education books from one of the biggest educational publishers in Canada 📚 | EDSurge
  • Supply chain software provider Rubikloud was snapped up by Kinaxis of Ottawa 🚀 | Globe and Mail
  • Clearbanc was featured for its AI, which aims to remove bias from investing 💰 | Forbes
  • …and, in case you missed it, Patrick has taken on the Chairmanship of Twitter’s board 💥 | Bloomberg


Industry Highlights

  • Industry topics that led our conversations included US unemployment, the state of travel-related businesses, and the shift towards remote teams.
  • While Twitter (and Shopify shortly after) led the charge on announcing an optional, permanent work from home policy, questions about compensation for geographically distributed teams remain open. Automattic was profiled in TechCrunch for how it approaches the topic.
  • As travel restrictions loosen, where will people choose to stay? Bloomberg cites vacation rentals and SnapTravel Co-Founder & CEO Hussein Fazal shows US hotel bookings have now surpassed 50% of pre-Coronavirus levels and continue to rise.
  • But product is always king, and as always, we strongly encourage you and your product leads to subscribe to Lenny Ratchitsky’s newsletter. (Portfolio A
    lumni Localmind, now AirBnb)


Inovia CFO Summit

  • In February, we held our first CFO Summit in Toronto. Dennis, Patrick, Scott, Hugues and Sarah led conversations on the practical experiences and perspectives that help finance leaders level up. We were also pleased to welcome Brandon Nussey, CFO/Lightspeed, Richard Powers of the Rotman School of Business, and Mark Weber of U of Waterloo.

Inovia Sessions

  • We’ve re-ignited our private events online in the era of COVID and are now able to reach a more distributed audience. Antoine moderated the first event, Rebuilding Healthcare’s Software Stack, featuring CRV’s Kristin Baker Spohn, General Catalyst’s Megan Maloney, and SV Angel’s Beth Turner.
  • We’re also happy to have seen so many CEOs at our two virtual COVID-related events, led by Patrick and Scott. In addition to Scott’s excellent piece on M&A linked above, the presentation from our first event can be found (and shared) here. Feel free to reach out for access to the recording of the event.


  • Looking for tips to build and nurture a high-functioning board? Sign up to hear Shawn speak with Michelle Zatlyn, Cofounder & COO at Cloudflare and Mahendra Ramsinghani, Founder of Secure Octane.