Western Innovation Initiative funding helps companies quickly move their ideas to market
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2016) - Western Economic Diversification Canada
Vendasta Technologies Inc. will be the first company in North America to combine online marketing and sales technology with cloud marketplace technology thanks to a $3.34 million investment from the Government of Canada.
Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, made the announcement today during a visit to Vendasta's headquarters in Saskatoon.
Vendasta helps marketing agencies and media companies sell digital marketing solutions to local small and medium businesses (SMBs). The combined technologies will provide Vendasta's clients with an expanded range of software applications for marketing and business functions to sell under their brand names to their diverse range of SMB customers across North America.
Traditional marketing formats for SMBs, such as radio, yellow pages advertising, and flyers, are being replaced by search engines, online review sites and other social media. Vendasta's technology means its clients can increase their sales with a more streamlined approach to helping their SMB customers. Meanwhile, the small businesses can focus on growth instead of struggling with the complex online marketing landscape.
This investment is one of several successful projects to be announced this year under the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. The program provides $100 million in repayable contributions to small- and medium-sized companies in Western Canada. Eligible companies can apply for funding to support activities that move ideas to market more quickly.
"Canadian companies like Vendasta Technologies Inc. are working hard to bring their innovative products to market. The Government of Canada is proud to support this project that will streamline and modernize online marketing for business. It is organizations such as Vendasta that promote economic growth and create high-quality jobs in Canada for the middle class and those working hard to join it."
- Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"We are very appreciative of the commitment from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Western Innovation Initiative, which will accelerate the advancement of this important technology. This also serves to underscore Vendasta's own core values which are based on driving innovation with respect and agility. We are proud of the exceptional talent and growing technology sector that we have here on the Prairies, and we look forward to continuing growth in this area."
- Brendan King, CEO, Vendasta Technologies Inc.
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Government of Canada Supports Advancement in Digital Marketing Technology
The Government of Canada is committed to building Canada as a global centre of innovation; one that focuses on strengthening the middle class by creating jobs, driving growth across all industries and improving the lives of all Canadians. To this end, it is providing $3.34 million to Vendasta Technologies Inc. to advance digital marketing technology.
This support, provided through Western Economic Diversification Canada's (WD) Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, will allow Vendasta to commercialize a fully-integrated cloud marketplace, or, online storefront. The project is expected to create 25 high-quality positions, as well as an additional 26 skilled jobs, most of which will be located in Saskatoon.
Previously, Vendasta offered reputation management and social marketing software applications for over 550 clients, or partners, as they are known through the online Partner Centre platform. These partners are marketing agencies or media organizations who rebrand Vendasta's products under their own names to sell to their customers. Those customers are known as local small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Now, through the Government of Canada's investment, using cloud marketplace technology, Vendasta will offer additional software applications from outside third-party developers. It can now provide its partners with a greater number of software applications for a wider range of "business solutions" tools, such as custom websites, Facebook advertising, e-commerce, and billing infrastructure. This "one-stop shopping" platform means its partners can create specific bundles of business solutions to help their SMB customers, without having to search out the developers or the software themselves.
Through this project, Vendasta has also improved the market intelligence that it can provide to its partners to help them find new customers, or better target business solutions for existing customers.
The integrated cloud marketplace platform, with its new range of capabilities, will provide Vendasta's partners with greater opportunities for growth, and allow them to offer more than just advertising services to SMBs.
Vendasta was founded in Saskatoon in 2008, and employs more than 200 people. Its platform helps digital agencies and media companies sell digital marketing solutions to local businesses. In 2016, Vendasta was ranked 49th in on Deloitte's Canadian Technology Fast 50 list, 42nd on PROFIT 500's 2016 list of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies, and named as a finalist for the 2016 Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership Exporter of the Year award.
The Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative aims to bridge the gap identified in pre-commercialization funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), assisting them in the process of bringing their ideas to market-ready products, processes, and services.
Announced in October 2013, WINN will invest $100 million over 5 years in the form of repayable contributions to for-profit SMEs based in Western Canada. With federal support, all projects aim to be on the market within three years.
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