The federal and Ontario governments announced on Thursday they will each spend $250 million to help Ford Canada mass produce electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Is this new money?
Ford first announced in September that it would spend $1.95 billion in its Canadian plants, including $1.8 billion toward the production of electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont. over the next decade or so as part of a three-year deal with union workers announced last month.
At the time, news reports suggested that some of the cash would come from government. But until today neither the company, government nor workers’ unions officially broke down the number.
2. Why electric vehicles?
Canada has historically lagged other auto exporters when it comes to electric vehicles. In April, the International Council on Clean Transportation noted that Canada produces only one plug-in vehicle model, the Chrysler Pacifica, and that the country’s electric vehicle production is 80 per cent lower than the global average.
Amid competition from plants in the Southern U.S. and Mexico, Canada has been vying to stay competitive in getting new, cutting-edge contracts from the Detroit Three automakers.
3. Why Oakville?
The Ontario government is quick to point out that Ontario is the only place in North America where five major automakers build vehicles — Fiat Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota — as well as truck manufacturer Hino. As for selecting the Oakville plant, Unifor president Jerry Dias has said that recent union negotiations targeted Ford because the jobs in its Oakville plant were most precarious amid ending vehicle production contracts that, until now, had no replacement.
Ford also already has a connectivity and innovation centre in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, which has a history as a Canadian innovation cradle.
Canadian companies also have supply chain access to mining companies that produce the nickel and other metals used to make the batteries for electric vehicles.
4. Political will
In addition to pressure from this year’s high-profile labour negotiations, lawmakers have also been looking for ways to promote economic investment in the wake of COVID-19 and an economic downturn. The Sept. 23 speech from the throne highlighted action against climate change as “a cornerstone” of a plan to create a million jobs across the country.
The government has already committed more than $300 million to create a network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles across the country. And it is providing incentives of up to $5,000 off the price of purchasing or leasing electric and hybrid vehicles.
5. How Canada’s automakers stack up
Ford is not the only company competing to employ Canadian engineers, as automakers increasingly look toward cutting-edge technology to set themselves apart. Tesla is working with Dalhousie University to produce batteries, while General Motors tests autonomous and electric vehicles in Markham Ont., and is working on doing the same in Oshawa, Ont.
Canadian auto-parts manufacturers Magna International and Linamar have also made investments in high-tech products, and BlackBerry Ltd. has an autonomous vehicle innovation centre in Ottawa.
In the startup scene, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board has invested in an autonomous driving startup, and Quebec City is home to autonomous driving startup LeddarTech.
TechSee Closes $30M Series C Investment Round to Accelerate Growth – Canada NewsWire
NEW YORK and TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 26, 2020 /CNW/ — TechSee, the category leader in Intelligent Visual Assistance, today announced it has raised $30 million in a Series C equity investment round. The round was co-led by OurCrowd, Salesforce Ventures, and TELUS Ventures with participation from Scale Venture Partners and Planven Entrepreneur Ventures.
Founded in 2015, the Tel Aviv-based company has grown rapidly by reducing customer friction points for enterprises. Its Visual Assistance technology bridges the visual gap in customer service, allowing customers and technicians to receive real-time AR guidance on their smartphone or tablet screens in assisted service or self-service mode. The company is also innovating in the field of Computer Vision AI with technology that can provide visual guidance to users installing, operating, or troubleshooting networking devices, smart home products, home appliances, and more. TechSee’s AI platform can automatically identify components, ports, cables, LED indicators, and more to detect issues and suggest resolutions for consumers, contact center agents, and field technicians.
“There has been a significant increase in demand for contactless customer service technologies propelled by COVID-19 social distancing requirements and the acceleration of digital transformation projects,” said Eitan Cohen, CEO of TechSee. “Our Visual Automation technology is at the heart of it, and now that momentum is growing exponentially as businesses seek to reduce costs and optimize customer experience strategies in the current environment. Our vision is to get rid of the user manual and replace it with dynamic AR assistants.”
TechSee’s solutions have become critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as enterprises seek ways to resolve customers’ issues without jeopardizing health and safety; dispatching field service technicians or allowing them to enter people’s homes is, in many cases, no longer viable. Even when in-person visits are feasible, businesses are actively seeking ways to reduce truck rolls in favor of remote resolutions that are more cost effective and efficient. TechSee recently announced a commercial partnership with Verizon to address this issue by bringing visual assistance to customers.
Additional commercial partnerships include Vodafone, Orange, Liberty Global, Accenture, Hitachi, and Lavazza, among others.
“Remote Visual Assistance is becoming an imperative technology for any customer-centric enterprise operating at scale,” said Alex Kayyal, Partner & Head of International, Salesforce Ventures. “The potential upside for the business and the customer is difficult to ignore. This industry has fundamentally shifted, and we’re excited by the innovation TechSee is bringing to the market in the area of customer assistance.”
TechSee addresses many of the issues that have historically plagued contact centers and field service operations. Its technology reduces customer effort, cuts costly truck rolls and product returns, improves the productivity and efficiency of support agents and technicians, and decreases call volume by enhancing self-service, in some cases saving companies hundreds of thousands of dollars per month while improving customer satisfaction and employee engagement.
“We couldn’t be more delighted with the progress TechSee has made since OurCrowd initially provided seed funding in 2017,” said OurCrowd CEO, Jon Medved. “While this company has already come a long way, we know the best is yet to come.”
The capital injection will be used to enter new markets and verticals while expanding TechSee’s product offerings and capabilities.
“Innovators like TechSee are revolutionizing the customer journey to deliver real value and meaningful improvement through digital transformation,” said Rich Osborn, managing partner, TELUS Ventures. “Our investments in market-leaders like TechSee aim to support the development of secure, innovative technologies to improve the customer experience which perfectly aligns with our corporate philosophy to put Customers First. We look forward to helping enable these future innovations.”
TechSee’s technology was recently recognized in the Gartner Cool Vendor for CRM Customer Service and Support 2020 report. The company, which has raised $54 million in funding to date, was also named to Fast Company‘s list of most innovative companies of 2020, and took home TMC’s 21st Anniversary CRM Excellence Award.
For more information, visit techsee.me.
TechSee revolutionizes the customer experience domain with the ﬁrst visual engagement solution powered by Computer Vision AI and Augmented Reality. It enables enterprises around the world to deliver better customer assistance, enhance service quality and reduce costs. TechSee is led by industry veterans with years of experience in mobile technologies, artiﬁcial intelligence and big data. The company is headquartered in Tel Aviv with oﬃces in New York, London, and Madrid. For more information, visit www.techsee.me.
About Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce is the global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), bringing companies closer to their customers in the digital age. Salesforce Ventures, the global investment arm of Salesforce, invests in the next generation of enterprise technology that extends the power of the Salesforce Platform. Salesforce Ventures is building the world’s largest ecosystem of enterprise cloud companies and extending that technology to customers. Portfolio companies receive funding, strategic advisory and operating support, and can easily join Pledge 1% to make giving back part of their business model. Salesforce Ventures has invested in more than 375 companies, including DocuSign, GoCardless, Guild Education, nCino, Snowflake, Twilio, Zoom and others across 22 countries since 2009. For more information, please visit www.salesforce.com/ventures.
OurCrowd is a global venture investment platform that empowers institutions and individuals to invest and engage in emerging companies. The most active venture investor in Israel, OurCrowd vets and selects companies, invests its capital, and provides its global network with unparalleled access to co-invest and contribute connections, talent and deal flow. OurCrowd builds value for its portfolio companies throughout their lifecycles, providing mentorship, recruiting industry advisors, navigating follow-on rounds and creating growth opportunities through its network of multinational partnerships. With $1.5 billion of committed funding, and investments in 220 portfolio companies and 22 venture funds, OurCrowd offers access to its membership of 55,000 individual accredited and institutional investors, family offices, and venture capital partners from over 183 countries to invest alongside, at the same terms. OurCrowd’s portfolio is diversified across sectors and stages, ranging from seed and series A through late stage and pre-IPO firms. Since its founding in 2013, OurCrowd portfolio companies have been acquired by some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Microsoft, Uber, Canon, Oracle, Nike, and Intel. To register and get involved, visit www.ourcrowd.com.
About TELUS Ventures
As the strategic investment arm of TELUS Corporation (TSX: T, NYSE: TU), TELUS Ventures was founded in 2001 and is one of Canada’s most active corporate venture capital funds. TELUS Ventures has invested in over 70 companies since inception with a focus on innovative technologies such as Health Tech, IoT, AI and Security. TELUS Ventures is an active investment partner and supports its portfolio companies through mentoring; exposure to TELUS’ extensive network of business and co-investment partners; access to TELUS’ technologies and broadband networks; and by actively driving new solutions across the TELUS ecosystem. For more information please visit: ventures.TELUS.com.
About Scale Venture Partners
Scale is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital investment firm with $1.3B under management. We were early investors in SaaS pioneers like Bill.com, Box, DocuSign, HubSpot, JFrog, and RingCentral. Today we’re investing in the next generation of great enterprise software companies like WalkMe, CircleCI, KeepTruckin, BigID, and Lever. Learn more at www.scalevp.com.
About Planven Entrepreneur Ventures
Planven Entrepreneur Ventures (“PEV”) is a venture capital fund that invests globally in advanced technology solutions for fast growing B2B markets leveraging on a unique corporate network in Europe and a strong presence in Israel. PEV invests in series A (late), B and C in revenue generating companies. Target sectors are artificial intelligence, big data, cybersecurity and health tech. PEV supports the company in the expansion phase in Europe and in the US. For more information, visit www.planvenev.com.
For further information: Contact for media only: Liad Churchill , +972547782536
Organigram going all in on synthetic cannabinoid investment – Stockhouse
OGI made an initial $5 million investment in Hyasynth in September 2018 and the Friday announcement represents the second of three tranches the cannabis producer has the right to make.
As part of the deal, Organigram has the right to purchase potentially all of Hyasynth’s cannabinoid production at a 10% discount to the wholesale market price for a 10-year period.
Several cannabis producers including Organigram, along with Toronto-based Cronos Group (TSX.CRON), have significantly invested in synthetic cannabinoid research as a way to help drive down the cost of chemical compounds contained within the cannabis plant…down to pennies per gram.
For more of the latest info on Cannabis, check out the Cannabis Trending News hub on Stockhouse.
Large federal investment announcement planned for Tecumseh – AM800 (iHeartRadio)
An announcement on the “single largest federal investment in the history of the Town of Tecumseh” is planned for Monday morning.
Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Irek Kusmierczyk and Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara plan to reveal details at Tecumseh’s public works yard.
The news conference is planned for 9 a.m.
This is a developing story. More coming.
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