Toronto start-up to advance context-aware mobile experience platform
TORONTO, Canada (August 20, 2014) — Flybits Inc., a Toronto start-up that has created a context-aware experience development platform for mobile environments, has closed a $3.75 million Series A financing. Led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) and Trellis Capital Corporation with participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ryerson Futures, Inc., the investment will advance the company’s product development and international growth in the United States and Europe.
Since spinning off from Ryerson University in 2012, Flybits has raised a total of $4.05 million to date, including a seed round from MaRS Innovation. Flybits technology has been used in developing smarter cities, connected stadiums, smart corporate campuses, shopping malls, conference venues and even fashion shows. The company also concurrently incubated its technology at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone in Toronto and Vodafone Xone in Redwood City, California.
“Flybits is RBVC’s first investment in Canada,” said Luis Llovera, managing director of Robert Bosch LLC based in Palo Alto, California. “The company has demonstrated a unique and innovative approach in building foundational technology to deliver Contextual Mobility Services for both display-driven devices and for the emerging Internet of Things applications. Flybits’ strong roots in tangible and high impact R&D, their ability to predict the required infrastructure for the industrial Internet and their global entrepreneurial ambitions were some of the reasons we were attracted to this company.”
“Involving high-quality investors such as Bosch and Trellis demonstrates the potential in our unique approach to designing Intelligent Mobility Solutions that are intuitive and scalable,” said Dr. Hossein Rahnama, CEO and founder of Flybits. “In particular, having Bosch as a strategic investor means we leverage their global expertise in software automation, connected communities and sensor technologies as we support new and existing international customers, and scale and develop both our team and our products.”
“Recognizing the Flybits’ platform potential to create next-generation mobile experiences at an early stage, MaRS Innovation worked closely with Flybits to launch the company and secure initial market traction,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation.
Flybits’ intuitive visual platform is so easy to use that users can build unique contextual experiences without sophisticated IT or other technical integration. Flybits’ goal is to build a platform that allows anyone to create context-aware mobility experiences without worrying about semantic analysis or context processing.
“Flybits is a great example of how innovation is becoming global and borderless,” said Mr. Werner Wnendt, German Ambassador to Canada. “Connecting industrial powers like Bosch in Germany to a unique and promising Canadian university start-up is a very exciting, innovative collaboration between Germany and Canada. It shows how fruitful the cooperation of our two countries is in the sphere of science and technology. I had an opportunity to visit Flybits last year and I am pleased that Bosch has decided to accelerate its growth.”
Flybits is a young and hyper-innovative software company based in Toronto with smaller offices in London and New York. Flybits develops tools that allow users to create predictive and context-aware computing environments for mobile, wearable and connected devices. Flybits leverages the exponential growth of data, augments it with sensing capabilities and enables its users to intuitively create and customize a unique contextual experience for their entity of interest.
About Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC)
RBVC is the corporate venture company of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services. RBVC invests worldwide in innovative start-up companies at all stages of their development. Its investment activities focus on technology companies working in areas of business of current and future relevance for Bosch above all automation and control, energy and environment, enabling technologies, and healthcare. RBVC also invests in services and business models as well as new materials that are relevant to the above-mentioned areas of business.
About Trellis Capital Corporation
Trellis Capital Corporation (Trellis) is a private venture capital fund that invests in small to mid-sized Canadian companies in select technology-based sectors. Trellis’ investment activities focus on innovative companies with highly scalable and capital efficient business models that have the potential to be disruptive in their respective markets. Trellis provides capital, expertise, and a network of contacts to the companies it invests in, as well as assists in their expansion into emerging markets if the opportunity exists. www.trelliscapital.com
About MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund
The Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF) (@MaRSIAF) provides seed funding to qualified emerging companies in Ontario. A critical component of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the IAF supports the launch and development of innovative companies in Ontario’s priority sectors of information technology, advanced materials and manufacturing, cleantech and life sciences.
About Ryerson Futures
Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI) is a Founders First Accelerator program connected to the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University, focused on assisting early stage technology companies as they grow and scale. RFI manages a venture fund and provides seed financing, advisory services and customer connections to select startups in exchange for an equity stake. Since 2010, RFI and the DMZ have incubated over 130 startups that have raised in excess of $40m in funding.
About MaRS Innovation
As the commercialization agent for 15 of Toronto’s and Canada’s top universities, hospital and research institutions, MaRS Innovation (MI) works on the behalf of its members to take their most promising research breakthroughs from the lab bench to the market.
Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, director of marketing and communications.