Vancouver tech startup attracts venture capitalists from the US

UCW News Team  |  October 24, 2016

Young professionals

A Vancouver-based technology startup that intends to remain in Canada has managed to attract top venture capital firms from Silicon Valley during a Series A funding round. 

Buddybuild, which was founded by former Amazon and Microsoft executive Dennis Pilarinos, has raised US$7.6 million in financing in the funding round that was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Other VC firms that participated in the funding include Amplify Partners, First Round Capital, and Bloomberg Beta. 

The Vancouver-based startup had one condition when raising funds: it wants to remain in Canada. The company hopes to use the funding to improve its mobile software apps building process. 

Kleiner Perkins stated that tooling for mobile app development was experiencing a major period of innovation. Mike Abbott, a partner in the VC firm, said that the majority of people use their mobiles to do most of their computing, and the existing options have room for improvement. 

Buddybuild hopes to offer an effective and efficient solution to this problem by creating a platform for developers to get immediate feedback from end users regarding crash reports, bugs and other issues they face. This will allow developers to fix the issues early, while they are building the apps. 

Pilarinos states that the tool by Buddybuild bridges the gap between development teams and end users, thereby making the development process quicker and more effective. Pilarinos was in charge of Microsoft’s development centre in Vancouver, BC, and also worked on the browser for Amazon e-readers and other smartphone products. Buddybuild launched its product for the iOS mobile platform in October 2015, and the product became available for Android three months later. 

Pilarinos also talked about his refusal to accept funding from any firm that insisted he relocate his startup to Silicon Valley. He claims his condition did not hinder his ability to raise funding; he was able to close his Series A funding round in a month. 

In September 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed $900 million to promote tech innovation and fund startup incubators in Canada. The BC government has many programs to encourage innovation and help startups succeed in a competitive business environment. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of the programs and incentives offered by federal and provincial governments to help build the local economy and make Canada a global centre for innovation and technology entrepreneurs can benefit from the UCW MBA program, which encourages detailed analysis and critical thinking to come up with innovative solutions to business challenges. UCW MBA graduates become effective and efficient leaders that work to propel organizational and workplace success.

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