June 'richest month' for region's tech industry as $1.1B invested in local companies


Communitech is calling June the "richest month" when it comes to investments in the local tech industry.

A combined $1.1 billion in private and public investment was made between fewer than 10 companies in Waterloo Region.

“We’re starting to get a lot of global attention. A lot of global bigger fund investments that are interested in putting capital in our region,” said Amber French, Communitech's director of strategic capital.

Satellite imagery company SkyWatch raised $21 million in investments in June.

Skywatch said that money will help with their plans to expand.

“We’re looking to get to about 60 people by the end of the year and about 120 by the end of next year,” said James Slifierz, the chief executive and co-founder of SkyWatch.

Another company looking to expand is Magnet Forensics from Waterloo. The digital investigation company is branching out to Halifax and Calgary.

“We’re growing across the company in almost every department. So a lot of investment in people and talent,” Adam Belsher, the CEO of Magnet Forensics said.

Magnet Forensics went public in May, leading to a $115 million investment through its IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Communitech said the local economy will benefit greatly from the investments in the local tech industry.

“We have over 500 companies that are growing in the region with over 5,000 job postings,” French said.

Communitech predicts this will continue to be a trend.

“It’s a place where people want to be in a place where people want to build their business,” said French.

Waterloo Region remains the second-largest tech hub in North America, Communitech says.