The latest results from Altus Group’s Q3 Investment Trends Survey (ITS) for the four benchmark asset classes show that the Overall Capitalization Rate (OCR) was little changed at 5.14 per cent, but grew from 5.01 per cent in the same quarter in 2019.
While multi-res assets still appeal to investors, demand continues to be influenced by pandemic effects, such as enduring international travel restrictions, continued threats of rent arrears, and the projected end of CERB and mortgage deferrals as we move into the final quarter of 2020. Suburban apartment cap rates fell to 4.39 per cent this quarter, down from 4.43 per cent in the previous quarter, but remaining stable compared to the same quarter last year.
Vancouver and Montreal were the lone markets with an increase in cap rates, while Edmonton experienced the largest drop from the previous quarter. The greatest increase year-over-year was recorded in the Vancouver market.
While the impact of COVID-19 on market conditions persists, investors are cautiously optimistic as the end of the year approaches. Strong industrial demand due to the pandemic has allowed that sector to remain resilient, while the office sector continues to face unprecedented challenges.
Despite businesses slowly re-opening over recent summer months, the retail and entertainment sector anticipates additional challenges moving forward as the weather gets colder, leaving less room for outdoor physical distancing. Although there has been a decrease in total transaction volume—down by 20 per cent for the first half of 2020 compared to 2019—overall commercial real estate remains stable as deals continue to close.
With a second wave now declared in some areas, as well as the end of some government assistance programs, the delay in real estate decisions may continue.
As predicted by the Bank of Canada earlier this year, economic growth has resumed, but at a slow rate. Unemployment levels have steadied after reaching a record high in May, but the Conference Board of Canada forecasts that some jobs will not return, requiring the creation of additional jobs in new segments.
The board reports notable employment gains within the accommodation and food services sector as businesses made adjustments to meet new avenues of demand—such as take-out and outdoor dining, as well as in the manufacturing sector which is well in alignment with increasing demand for industrial space across the country. Still, the Canadian unemployment rate sits at 10.2 per cent at the end of August, according to Statistics Canada.
Interest rates continue to remain low and are forecasted by the Conference Board of Canada to stay that way long-term as the Canadian economy is unlikely to fully recover until 2022 or 2023. Food anchored Retail Strip and Single-Tenant Industrial are the top preferred products this quarter.
The location barometer for all available products indicates positive momentum within the Calgary, Montreal and Halifax markets, while momentum has slowed in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City, and remains stable in Edmonton. Toronto and Vancouver remained among the top preferred markets, now accompanied by Montreal. With the ongoing struggles in the Alberta economy, Edmonton is the least preferred market by investors.
For the full report on Q3 investment trends, visit: https://www.altusgroup.com/data/insights
Canada makes largest federal investment in Tecumseh's history to protect the Town from future flooding – Canada NewsWire
TECUMSEH, ON, Oct. 26, 2020 /CNW/ – The safety and well-being of Canadians remains the Government of Canada’s top priority as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The federal government is taking decisive action to support families, businesses and communities, and continues to look ahead to see what more can be done. Investing in infrastructure to create jobs and strengthen local economies is a key part of these initiatives.
In recent years, the communities of Tecumseh and Windsor experienced catastrophic storms that caused significant flood damage to local residences and businesses. Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to these intensifying weather events caused by climate change.
Today, Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor−Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and his Worship Gary McNamara, Mayor for the Town of Tecumseh, announced significant funding to reduce the impact of severe storms and flooding in the Town of Tecumseh.
The Government of Canada is investing $10.7 million in this flood resiliency project through the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). This is the single largest federal investment in Tecumseh’s history. The Town is also contributing more than $16 million to complete the project.
The work involves the construction of and improvements to four infrastructure assets: decommissioning of the St. Mark’s Pump Station; construction of a new consolidated Scully and St. Mark’s Pump Station; improvements to the PJ Cecile Pump Station and; improvements to the storm sewers at two locations to move storm water runoff to the consolidated Scully and St. Mark’s pump station.
This investment is just one of many regional flood-related projects recently funded by the Government of Canada, including a historic $32,090,691 investment in flood mitigation for Windsor in 2019.
“On my very first day as MP for Windsor–Tecumseh, I met with Mayor McNamara to discuss key priorities for the Town of Tecumseh. With severe weather events on the rise, funding from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund was outlined as a critical need. I am proud of the terrific collaboration between our federal government and the Town to deliver this important investment for the residents of Tecumseh. Once complete, the Tecumseh flood resiliency project will protect residences and businesses from the severe effects of flooding.”
Irek Kusmierczyk, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor−Tecumseh, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
“Flooding continues to be the most frequent and costly natural disaster in Canada. By investing in infrastructure, the Government of Canada is helping communities, like the Town of Tecumseh, increase their resiliency. The DMAF helps protect Canadians by reducing the risk of climate change and the long-term costs associated with replacing infrastructure following natural disasters.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“My Council colleagues and I have heard from residents that more needs to be done to protect them from flooding and flood mitigation is a vital priority for our Council. This funding will assist in building our town’s resiliency and keeping our community and its residents safe.”
His Worship Gary McNamara, Mayor of the Town of Tecumseh
- Windsor and Tecumseh have received over $50 Million to fund 16 projects related to flooding and wastewater.
- The Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) is a $2-billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.
- To date, more than $1.7 billion has been announced through DMAF for 60 large-scale infrastructure projects that will help protect communities across the country from the threats of climate change.
- DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.
- To support Canadians and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new stream has been added to the over $33-billion Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to help fund pandemic-resilient infrastructure. Existing program streams have also been adapted to include more eligible project categories.
- The COVID-19 Resilience Stream will help other orders of governments whose finances have been significantly impacted by the pandemic by increasing the federal cost share for public infrastructure projects.
- The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative will provide up to $31 million in existing federal funding to support communities as they deploy innovative new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19 over the next two years.
Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund projects in Ontario
Investing in COVID-19 Community Resilience
Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
Investing in Canada plan project map
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
For further information: Contacts: Chantalle Aubertin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, 613-949-1759, [email protected]; Lesley Reeves, Manager Strategic Initiatives, Town of Tecumseh, 519-735-2184 ext 150, [email protected]; Media Relations: Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, Toll free: 1-877-250-7154, [email protected]
Insurtech investment keeps up, but not all will survive the pandemic – Insurance Business CA
However, it’s also important to note that although this data points to the sector staying on track to raise potentially the second-highest amount of money in any given year, it was the top 10 insurtechs who have walked away with the majority of the capital spoils, leaving the rest of the community to fight over the leftover one-third of total funds invested.
Meanwhile, another key trend to highlight is that while there are some insurtechs that are making headway by writing coverage and directly competing with traditional insurers, legacy insurance companies are still dominating the playing field, says one expert.
“I don’t see a behemoth insurtech out there that’s going to essentially end the insurance business as we know it, and take over massive amounts of market share,” said Sam Friedman (pictured), insurance research leader at the Deloitte Centre for Financial Services. “Where insurtech is having a huge impact is in helping insurers become better at what they do.”
Insurtechs have helped insurers to become more digital, improve the customer experience, access new sources of alternative data, and get better at advanced analytics and predictive modelling to help with policy administration and claims handling. This in turn has helped with fraud management and augmenting underwriting so that underwriters can focus on more cognitive work, including portfolio management, and working with brokers and clients to set terms and coverage, explained Friedman. Rather than serving as direct competition, the insurtech-insurer relationship has become a much more symbiotic one, he added.
Nonetheless, there has been a ripple-effect from the pandemic on this relationship, in that “it’s forced insurers to prioritize who they’re going after now and who they need to work with, which is anybody that can help them accelerate digitization,” said Friedman. “There may be some areas where they’re going to decide, ‘I’m not going to work on that this year, or maybe for another 18 months. I [instead] need help to get my claims adjusters virtual so that they can look at a damaged property, whether it’s through a drone or the policyholder’s camera phone.’”
As a result, there’s more emphasis being placed on insurtechs that are ready to go to market, and have products that have been proven and can be scaled, in order to help insurers get through the transition prompted by COVID-19.
Moreover, according to the Deloitte expert, “You could see more merger and acquisition activity in insurtech, both among insurtechs, because what you’re seeing is there’s a lot of duplication of solutions out there that may have to be consolidated, and also, because insurance companies are now looking for holistic solutions, rather than point solutions,” said Friedman.
While the market for insurtech investment is dynamic right now, there are some insurtechs that may get left on the sidelines because either they’re not far enough along to be of immediate value to the industry, they duplicate what too many of their peers are doing, or their products are not exactly what the industry needs during the pandemic.
“You’re going to have to wait and see, do they have enough money to sustain them for 12 to 18 months when they are not necessarily going to do a lot of business – that’s going to be the interesting thing to watch,” said Friedman.
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
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