10 amazing start-ups from Vancouver to watch

23 May 2019

Vancouver. Image: © Barbara Helgason/Stock.adobe.com

Ranked among the top 25 tech start-up ecosystems in the world, the Canadian city of Vancouver boasts an eclectic mix of globally focused start-ups.

Located in west Canada and just over the border from the US tech hub of Seattle, Vancouver has its own rich heritage when it comes to technology, being the founding home of companies such as Flickr, Slack and Hootsuite.

The city is also a noted hub for TV production as well as video game production.

According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019 by Startup Genome, the city scores highly when it comes to access to talent and market reach, and for having start-up founders with lots of scale-up experience.

The report found Vancouver’s key advantages lie in areas such as cleantech and blockchain, and the city is home to around a quarter of Canada’s cleantech companies, with six firms in the 2019 Global Cleantech 100.

The city is also garnering a reputation for carrying out deep-tech research.

And so, here are some of the start-ups from Vancouver to watch.


AvenueHQ provides real-estate professionals with the web and digital marketing tools for their business. Founded in 2013 by Chris and Rebecca Troelstra, the company has raised $8.2m in three funding rounds, according to Crunchbase.


Battlefy has created an e-sports management platform that lets organisers easily and effectively organise tournaments and leagues. Founded in 2013, the start-up is led by CEO Jason Xu. Crunchbase reports that Battlefy has raised $12.5m in four funding rounds so far.


Cmd monitors and controls user interaction within Linux environments, offering real-time visibility into user actions and the ability to get ahead of potential breaches. Founded in 2016 by Jake King and Milun Tesovic, Crunchbase reports that Cmd has raised $21.6m in two funding rounds so far.

Dapper Labs

The creator of CryptoKitties, Dapper Labs uses the power of gaming to deliver new consumer experiences using blockchain. A spin-out of Axiom Zen, Dapper Labs is headed by CEO Roham Gharegozlou. The company raised $15m in a Series A round last year.

Elix Wireless

Elix Wireless is the provider of a wireless charging system for electric vehicles, e-buses and autonomous transport. A spin-out from the University of British Columbia, it claims its technology uses less electromagnetic interference and generates less heat than high-frequency systems. The company raised $5m in a Series A round in 2016 and is led by CEO Christian Zapf.


Fi.span is a services management platform that allows banks to deploy new business banking products rapidly. Headed by CEO Lisa Shields, the company raised $4m last year.


Fitplan is a mobile fitness app that partners with a global team of fitness trainers to create exclusive training programmes and meal plans. Founded in 2014 by Landon Hamilton and Cam Speck, Crunchbase reports that Fitplan has raised $5.4m across three investment rounds.


Grow is an enterprise SaaS platform that empowers financial institutions to deliver better services through technology and data analytics. Led by CEO Kevin Sandhu, Grow has raised $8m to date in three funding rounds, according to Crunchbase figures.


Spocket helps dropshippers – retail stores that facilitate the purchasing of items from third parties – around the world discover and dropship US- and EU-based products. Used by more than 20,000 retailers, Spocket was founded in 2017 and is headed by CEO Saba Mohebpour. To date, Spocket has raised C$2.5m in funding.


Trulioo is a global identification verification provider that helps businesses to meet anti-money laundering and ‘know your customer’ requirements, mitigating fraud and risk in fintech. Founded in 2011 by Stephen Ufford and Tanis Jorge, Trulioo raised $15m in a 2015 funding round.

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Updated, 9.14am, 11 June 2019: This article was amended to clarify the amount of funding raised by Spocket to date.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years