Just last month, Calgary-based WaitWell, which sells queue management and service-delivery software, secured seed funding of $1.5 million from Toronto’s Graphite Ventures and Edmonton’s Accelerate Fund III.
WaitWell was recognized as one of the top 10 most promising startups at Calgary’s Innovation Week 2022 Launch Party.
“Securing the $1.5 million in seed funding is a significant milestone for WaitWell. With the backing of Graphite Ventures and Accelerate Fund III, we are well-positioned to accelerate our growth and drive our mission of optimizing service delivery for public service organizations, higher education institutes, hospitality and private health clinics,” said Steve Vander Meulen, WaitWell’s CEO.
“The funding will enable us to expand our operations, establish strategic partnerships, and further innovate our platform to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
Waitwell was co-founded by Steve Vander Meulen and Shannon Vander Meulen, the company’s Chief Marketing Officer. The husband and wife duo developed the queue management tech platform initially to better serve motor vehicle registries, which typically struggle with lineups and wait times. The platform facilitates digital appointment bookings, queuing, workflow, events, virtual meetings, and analytics.
Once they got traction in that market, the Vander Meulens realized their platform could apply to other businesses. They have since added post-secondary higher education, where it is helping replace physical lineups for service across campuses with virtual queues, and are preparing to enter other fields such as private health care in the U.S.
Graphite Ventures played a vital role in the seed funding for WaitWell. The venture capital firm, which started with a focus on the Ontario market, has now invested in more than 25 Canadian startups with seed and follow-on rounds, and its Managing Director Aaron Bast has noted they will be looking to the West for additional funding placements.
Alberta specifically is continuing to attract tech investments at a strong pace while venture funding in other parts of Canada has slowed.
This week Graphite announced it had reached $110 million in the close of its Fund IV, which included $10 million from the Alberta Enterprise Corporation or AEC. The firm has installed Omi Velasco from Calgary to lead its business activity in Western Canada.
Graphite says it will be concentrating on investments in B2B SaaS, Fintech, digital health, and “capital-efficient hardware” with many companies featuring AI and machine learning.
The VC’s leadership says it will continue exploring new markets in Canada and expects the majority of its portfolio companies to be added by 2025.
Calgary.tech is expecting many Alberta tech startups will be sharpening their pitches.