Change log: Startup briefs

ChangeLog is a summary of the latest news from the Ottawa startup community.

Interset wins investment from U.S. VC fund

Ottawa startup Interset, a specialist in user-behaviour analytics, landed an undisclosed amount of strategic investment in June from In-Q-Tel, a U.S. venture capital firm that targets technology to support organizations, such as the Central Intelligence Agency. The funding follows the cybersecurity firm’s $10-million financing round last March that CEO Dale Quayle said would “effectively double” the firm’s size.

Battery startup launches new product line

GBatteries, an Ottawa tech hardware firm that took part in Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator accelerator program in 2014, is preparing to roll out the second edition in its line of high-capacity portable batteries. The startup is currently offering preorders for the BatteryBox Slim, which follows the original BatteryBox that was crowdfunded in 2014 and has sold more than 4,000 units in the last year. BatteryBox Slim reached 90 per cent of its crowdfunding goal in less than a week and is expected to ship in early winter.

Fintech startup launches coin-purse app

Seeking to improve cash transactions by gathering coins digitally on a mobile app, a new Ottawa-based startup called ChangeJar is working with local restaurants, cafes and retailers on what it calls “the first mobile app that lets users receive or pay with change from everyday transactions using their smartphones.” The app acts as a digital purse that immediately stores change from everyday cash transactions for later use, with the same anonymity and absence of fees that come with using coins. So far, the Invest Ottawa portfolio company’s app can be used at nine locations in Ottawa. ChangeJar CEO Tom Camps says the firm’s current focus is recruiting more new merchants.

Consulting firm launches IT analytics service

Ottawa company RAPA Consulting this month launched a managed software service that lets companies mine their raw IT data in order to identify links between different areas of their business operations and how they affect IT performance. The subscription software, RAPA Insight, is meant to improve on the self-service tools currently providing many firms with their business intelligence and analytics information, doing so by mining a company’s own raw data and building an “evidence-based ‘big picture’ people need to see,” says Susan Odle, RAPA’s chief operating officer.

WebMarketers celebrates new digs and fast growth

Online marketing startup WebMarketers moved into its new offices on Preston Street this month, a milestone that comes after a period of rapid growth for the two-year-old firm. The company has grown from six to 13 full-time staff members in the last three months and anticipates even more hiring to come as the firm aims to double in size again by the end of the year, according to CEO Kyle Smendziuk. WebMarketers specializes in online marketing strategies, including social media, SEO, pay-per-click and web development, according to the firm’s website.