Ontopical collects C$2.25m in GreenSky-led seed funding

Calgary-based market intelligence software startup Ontopical has raised C$2.25 million in seed financing.

Calgary-based market intelligence software startup Ontopical has raised C$2.25 million in seed financing. GreenSky Capital led the round, with participation from GCI Ventures and angel investors, including members of the GreenSky President’s Club. Ontopical helps enterprises get early signals of opportunities with local and regional governments.

PRESS RELEASE

Calgary-based market intelligence software startup Ontopical has raised CAD $2.25M in its first round of venture financing, as it looks to help companies “get early signals of upcoming business opportunities in order to better serve their customers and communities.”

The all-equity seed round, which closed earlier this month, was led by Toronto-based GreenSky Capital’s GreenSky Accelerator Fund IV. The round also saw participation from GCI Ventures and a group of undisclosed angel investors, including members of the GreenSky President’s Club.

Ontopical, formerly known as BoxOfDocs, was founded in 2017 as a ‘best practices’ knowledge platform for local government administration teams. The startup now helps companies to better understand the upcoming needs and challenges of cities, counties, and other local government organizations.

Ontopical’s SaaS platform aggregates, organizes, and makes searchable both historical and current local government public information. Ontopical’s customers gain the ability to search meeting agendas, minutes, video recordings, budgets, plans, etc. from 90,000+ municipalities and local government organizations in North America. Custom machine learning models update the information in real time and provide alerts built around specific search terms, geographies and other criteria as set up by the customer. Customers use the Ontopical platform for a number of business development purposes, including obtaining early indication of RFPs (Requests for Proposals) and to identify other business opportunities with municipal and local government which, although potentially lucrative, can be difficult to identify.

After establishing a presence in Alberta, Canada, Ontopical quickly felt a strong market pull and has since gone on to expand their coverage to include local governments in all but one Canadian province (Quebec coming soon) as well as all 50 US States. Ontopical aims to use the injected capital to bring its offering to more private sector companies looking to assist with infrastructure projects as the world emerges from a 2-year long global pandemic. Ontopical’s platform can support a wide range of sectors who serve local government organizations, including software providers, consultants, property developers, and equipment manufacturers to name just a few.

Local government teams provide tremendous transparency through the content that they post on their websites. However, with 95,000 local government organizations in North America posting content daily, the result is a massive unstructured data set that is impossible for any human to navigate. That is where Ontopical can help.

“Everyone benefits when the needs of our communities are fully transparent to those who can help fulfill them,” said company founder and CEO Derrick Koenig. “However, local governments don’t always have time to share these upcoming needs with vendors until an RFP (request for proposal) is officially posted. With most proposals coming due within only 4 weeks from when an RFP is posted, this often does not give businesses enough time to submit accurate proposals. Ontopical serves as a platform where private sector companies can stay on top of these upcoming needs.”

Since its launch in early 2021, Ontopical has been able to attract over 20 enterprise customers including top engineering and construction firms in Canada and the United States.

This round of funding will enable the company to add new types of local governments to their offering, including school, water, health and other special districts. Many of Ontopical’s current customers are business development professionals with engineering, planning and construction firms. The startup is looking to expand their current machine learning based technology to automate the identification of future opportunities for these industries. This will be achieved using proprietary natural language processing technologies.

“This is about building better communities in which we raise our families and build our businesses. Cities are doing a great job of posting updates and plans but it is near impossible for anyone to stay on top of all this content. Ontopical makes this connection, permitting vendors to finally put their best foot forward when an RFP is eventually posted,” said Koenig.

To support these lofty goals, Ontopical plans to more than double the size of their 14-person team, as it looks to hire for both technical and sales roles in 2022.