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Montreal's Vention, a manufacturing automation tech startup, has raised $38 million CAD in Series B financing


The round was led by Georgian Partners and included participation from return investors Bain Capital Ventures and White Star Capital. The financing will be used to further develop Vention’s cloud-based platform, grow its “library of plug-and-play automation components,” and continue with international expansion.

Vention was founded in 2016 by CEO Etienne Lacroix. The Montreal-based startup is on a mission to “democratize industrial automation.” It touts itself as a pioneer in “a new era of manufacturing technologies where ease of use and speed meet industrial automation.”

The digital platform allows manufacturers to automate their production floors by helping them design, program, order, and commission automated equipment directly from their web browsers. According to Vention, its platform is currently used in over 1,000 factories across three continents.

The Series B round follows just over a year after Vention raised $17 million CAD in Series A financing. To date, the startup has raised more than $58 million.

Vention is set to release what it called “significant changes” to its automation platform this year. The company stated plans to augement both software and hardware capabilities. Georgian Partners’ Impact team, which includes tech experts and Ph.D.’s with expertise in areas including deep learning, software engineering, natural language processing and privacy, is set to work with Vention’s tech team. The goal of the partnership is to further expand Vention’s use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for use in machine design and digital supply chains.

Vention is the latest in a string of manufacturing-focused Canadian startups that have received a financial boost amid COVID-19. Earlier this week, Waterloo’s Clearpath Robotics raised $40 million CAD in Series C funding and Quebec-based Poka, which has created a connected worker platform specifically for manufacturers, raised its own financing.

The pandemic is having an interesting effect on startups operating in the manufacturing space. Clearpath CEO Matt Rendall told BetaKit that while COVID-19 has producers accelerating their automation strategies, health and safety regulations restrict third-parties from entering the plants to make installations.

According to The Globe and Mail, Vention CEO Lacroix said the pandemic will slow the company’s expansion of its sales, which had reportedly increased by almost 400 percent last year. Lacroix said he still expects Vention’s revenues to double despite the slow down caused by COVID-19.