Tag Archives: software

Guelph Ontario Startup Fivewalls Matches Top Real Estate Agents To Buyers / Sellers

fivewalls is a free service that matches home buyers and sellers with top REALTORS® from leading local brokerages. We provide home buyers and sellers access to agents’ verified reviews, past transaction data, recently sold homes and personality videos. The fivewalls team is here to ensure you are happy and confident in the real estate agent you work with and will work with you until you are satisfied.

For example here is one of the videos featuring GTA Real Estate agent Naz Sala:



Who started the company? Do you / team members have a tech background?
fivewalls Realty, Brokerage was founded by Paul Hayman in 2014 and has just launched in Toronto. During the 2008 to 2012 housing crisis in the USA, Paul served as the USA Chairman of the Think Tank for Single Family Residential Rentals. He also founded Tenant Access which, within one year of founding the company became one of the largest single-family residential property management companies in America. In addition to his professional life at TFC, Paul served as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.

We also have a tech team of two developers who innovate and create features that make it faster for users to search for the right agent. From time to time, we bring in consultants for select projects to enhance user experience.

How are you being financed?
Currently we are financed by private investors.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Our biggest obstacle to overcome is that many home buyers and sellers don’t do enough research when finding a real estate agent. Many will pick their neighbor or someone easily accessible which may not always result in the best fit for them. We will have to educate consumers about the value of researching and working with an agent who has the expertise they need according to property type, location and budget.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Since we are a start-up we can offer many unique perks such as flexible hours and remote work locations for our employees. Our current developers love what we are trying to achieve and the culture we have within the company. Everyone gets to voice their opinion and is included in every major decision the company makes.

Who is your biggest competition?
Our biggest competition is personal agent referrals. Many home buyers and sellers will ask friends and family for referrals of real estate agents. The problem with using an agent who has been referred to you by a friend is that they may not be a good fit for your exact needs. Not every agent serves the same areas and has access to the same marketing tools that you need to sell a condo or detached home, for example.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?
fivewalls currently operates in the Greater Toronto area, Kitchener, Guelph and London. Our intention is to first master the Toronto markets to ensure our processes are successful before we expand into the other large markets in Canada.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
The biggest lesson that we have learned (so far) is that millennials pick a real estate agent based on data rather than simply the agents’ personality. When we first created this model we focused more on the personality of the agent rather than providing details about their skills and experience. We have evolved over the past few years to include more data from the real estate agent.

Amazon Growing in Toronto and Vancouver

Amazon, American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington, is about to sign giant office leases in both Vancouver and Toronto according to Financial Post.

147,000 sq ft office is to be signed in Vancouver and 112,000 sq ft in Toronto. This is on top of 2.2m sq ft in Toronto and 741,000 sq ft in Vancouver.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

This new space can accommodate around additional 1,000 employees in Vancouver and around 700 employees in Toronto.

Amazon move according to some sources is to grow their software development teams in both cities.

Hiring Job Fairs in Toronto and Vancouver are being held from time to time – just follow them on Instagram or Twitter:


Wave, Toronto financial software firm, raises $32.38m Canadian in funding

Wave , the leading provider of financial management software for entrepreneurs and small business owners, raised US$24 million strategic financing.

National Australia Bank (NAB), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Portag3 (the investment arm of PowerCorp focusing on financial services innovations), and Exhibition Capital participated in financing the deal. The investment also includes funding from existing investors CRV, Social Capital, BDC IT Venture Fund and BDC Capital, OMERS Ventures, Harbourvest and OurCrowd.

Wave employs about 150 employees mostly in their Toronto and Kitchener offices.

The company manages more than $175 billion in income and expense transactions for its customers, including $21 billion in annual invoicing. The company’s first product was a free online accounting software designed for businesses with 1-9 employees, followed by invoicing, personal finance and receipt-scanning software (OCR). In 2012, Wave began branching into financial services, initially with Payments by Wave (credit card processing) and Payroll by Wave, followed by Lending by Wave in February 2017.

Kirk Simpson, CEO and co-founder of Wave, says,

“Since 2010, Wave has been an innovator in small business financial solutions. Our customers tell us that by deeply integrating financial services into our cloud-based software, we are helping them thrive while changing how they think about and use small business financial products.”

Toronto TouchBistro, restaurant startup, secures CDN$16.3m in funding

Toronto based TouchBistro raised $16.3m in funding this round, and $45.3m to date. The startup provides an easy and smart iPad-based POS system for restaurants, cafes, bars, & more. Touchbistro currently employs around 150 mostly in Toronto but as well as New York.

TouchBistro Inc. was founded by Alex Barrotti in 2010. Barrotti had previously founded INEX, a web-based online storefront creator, which he sold to Infospace (now Blucora) in 1999 for $45 million.

The app is deployed in over 9,000 restaurants in 37 countries around the world.

Ottawa tries to attract tech talent with Work in Ottawa campaign

Invest Ottawa agency announced new campaign called Work in Ottawa to attract tech talent to move to Ottawa.

The campaign highlights that median salary in Ottawa is almost  $92k , while housing in Ottawa is much cheaper at around $370k vs Toronto at $800k and Vancouver at $1m. The website said that Ottawa is home to more than 1,700 technology companies.

Former Microsoft executive and now head of Invest Ottawa, Michael Tremblay said:

We are very proud to announce our Work in Ottawa campaign which aims to help companies across our thriving ecosystem, attract and retain the top talent needed to succeed.

Their online portal acts as a marketing tool to attract talent to existing tech jobs in Ottawa. You can visit it here: https://www.investottawa.ca/why-ottawa/

Not sold yet? Maybe you read the news that Ottawa was picked as the most boring city in Canada? Then maybe watching the following video will change your mind:

Montreal WorkJam, workforce software, raised $12m

WorkJam, startup from Montreal, Canada with over 30 employees have raised $12m  from Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Founder Collective, NovelTMT and WorkJam’s management team.

WorkJam enables employers to improve labor cost management and sales through better communication with their workforce, enhanced employee self-service and a better customer experience through a more motivated and engaged staff.

Steven Kramer, President and CEO, WorkJam said :

“We are proud to have caught the attention of some of the most respected names in technology investing, and look forward to having these new partners join us as we continue to make major strides in the global workforce management market for both large and mid-sized organizations,”

See video below:

Connect directly with employees to create a more knowledgeable, engaged and productive workforce, while improving customer experience and controlling labor costs.