A Toronto-based start-up that helps small and medium-sized businesses build predictive customer models to prioritize sales leads and identify high value customers has closed a $1.5 million financing round led by the BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and a number of angel investors.
Canopy Labs Inc., a recent graduate of the Y Combinator program, will use the funds to scale operations and launch new analytics products. Major brands such as the Grey Cup champion Toronto Argonauts, WagJag and the Canadian Opera Company are already on board.
“Mid-sized businesses don’t need expensive, customized solutions to analyze and segment their customer records,” said Canopy Labs CEO Wojciech Gryc, in a statement. “We offer our clients insights into their customer data that marketing or sales analysts can understand and use right away to make customers happier and increase their sales. We’ve launched analytics capabilities for our clients in under 24 hours.”
Canopy Labs has developed a self-service platform that allows users to import data on customer interactions, such as email, social media, voicemail and call centre recordings, and use them to create customer models and receive recommended actions for each customer without a sales rep analyzing the data. The goal is time savings for staff and lower customer churn while increasing customer spend.
“Many analytics companies say they can solve tough problems but most IT projects in enterprises fail or end up stagnating,” said Ron Warburton, managing partner at the BDC Venture Capital IT Fund, in a statement. “Canopy Labs has found a way to address a very clear problem for enterprises that don’t want to hire consultants or create customized customer modeling programs – streamlining their analytics process and delivering smart, usable data in a very short timeframe.”
Canopy Labs is led by Gryc as CEO, a former consultant with McKinsey & Company and Rhodes Scholar who was part of the predictive modeling group at the TJ Watson Research Laboratory at IBM Research. Also leading the company as chief scientist is Jorge Escobedo, the holder of a Ph.D in Theoretical Physics from the University of Waterloo who carried on research in String Theory as a Ph.D. student in residence at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo.