Fed funding expected to generate 85 new jobs at Ottawa tech startups BluWave-ai, Tehama

EV charging station stock image

A pair of Ottawa tech startups have landed a total of $4.4 million in federal funding to help them develop products and hire dozens of new employees as they scale up their operations.

The federal government said the repayable contributions, announced Thursday, include $1.7 million for Kanata-based cleantech firm BluWave-ai and $2.7 million for software company Tehama. 

Distributed through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the funding is expected to create more than 85 new jobs at the two organizations.

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“Tech companies like BluWave-ai and Tehama Inc. are what build Ottawa’s growing history of tech research and innovation, and ensure that we keep pushing the boundaries to benefit our regional economy and Canadians,” Kanata-Carleton MP Jenna Sudds said in a statement.

Founded in 2017, BluWave-ai makes subscription-based software that uses artificial intelligence to track power usage, predict demand for electricity and help owners of electrical vehicle fleets manage the operation and charging of EVs in a bid to save energy.

The company, which has already raised millions of dollars in private venture capital, says it will use the additional funding to continue developing its EV Fleet Orchestrator platform, which is targeted at customers such as taxi fleets, airlines and other large-scale consumers of electric power.

“For the past five years, BluWave-ai has been building one of the world’s premier companies on the intersection of renewable energy, transport electrification, decarbonization, data and artificial intelligence,” founder and CEO Devashish Paul said in a statement. 

“With this investment from FedDev Ontario, building off our successful patent protected electricity grid optimization software product, our company will be able to deploy its EV Fleet Orchestrator AI product with fleet operators in Canadian, U.S., European and Indian markets.”

Meanwhile, Tehama says it will use the additional cash to integrate new technologies into its flagship cybersecurity platform, Carrier for Work.

The company touts the cloud-based system as an all-in-one solution that fortifies remote workers’ laptops, tablets and other devices with multiple layers of security and can be installed in less than an hour. 

Founded in 2019 as a spinoff of analytics and cloud services provider Pythian, Tehama secured US$10 million in VC financing the following year. Founder and CEO Paul Vallée told OBJ earlier this year the platform has become a must-have commodity for hundreds of companies as the work-from-home trend exposed businesses around the world to a wave of potential security threats that require more robust measures to neutralize.

“This $2.7-million repayable contribution from FedDev Ontario will help us press on through these tumultuous times, supporting enterprises as they adopt tools that enable the secure exchange of work over the internet,” Vallée said in a statement. “As the demand for work-from-home solutions is forecast to increase, this funding could not have come at a better time.”

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