Portfolio Company News: Energy Dome gets $44M uplift into its CO2 battery for renewable energy storagePortfolio Company News:

Italian climate startup Energy Dome, which has developed a “CO2 Battery” for storing renewable energy, has closed a €40 million (~$44M) Series B round — bringing the total raised for its novel energy storage solution to €54M (or just shy of $60M).

The round was co-led by Eni Next, the corporate VC arm of Italian energy giant Eni; along with Neva SGR, the VC company owned by European banking group Intesa Sanpaolo. Existing investors also participated, including Barclays’ Sustainable Impact Capital, CDP Venture Capital, Invitalia, Novum Capital Partners and 360 Capital. Other investors in the round include Japan Energy Fund and Elemental Excelerator.

We last covered the 2020-founded startup when it closed an $11M Series A back in 2021 — explaining that its system uses CO2 in a closed-loop cycle to store energy generated from renewable sources (such as solar).

Storage is important for renewables as major clean sources of energy generation like solar and wind power are variable, since the sun doesn’t always shine nor the wind always blow. This means, not that renewables are useless (as some right-wing politicians have tried to claim) but that decarbonizing the electricity grid using these alternative (green) sources of power requires innovation in storage tech — which is where Energy Dome is aiming to step in with its CO2 Battery.

Its system works by changing the chemical compound, CO2, from gas to liquid and back to gas (via compression and/or evaporation) in order to generate heat — which is either stored or used to drive a generator depending on whether the system is in charging or discharging mode.

The startup is named for an inflatable atmospheric gas holder filled with CO2 (when in its gaseous form) which forms a core component of the storage system. Other key ‘ingredients’ for its battery are steel and water and Energy Dome touts the robustness of the system as a major differentiator vs alternative storage solutions, claiming no degradation over 30 years of operation.

It also claims the COBattery can store renewable energy with “75% RTE (AC-AC, MV-MV)” — meaning that for each unit of renewable energy stored the system is able to return 75% for later usage — doing so at a cost that it says is half the price of lithium batteries. (And mining for lithium raises environmental concerns in and of itself.)

Back in 2021 the startup was aiming to use the Series A funds to commercialize the tech. It’s made some progress on this front — saying it’s working with “several” utilities, independent power producers and corporate customers in key markets at this stage, per a press release, touting what it describes as “a qualified pipeline that exceeds 9GWh” in markets such as the U.S., Europe, South America, India and Australia.

The Series B funds will be used to enter what Energy Dome dubs “full commercial scaling mode on a global basis” — although it says it’s focusing on a set of key markets, with the US being principal among them (with an eye on tax incentives for green energy). 

“Our CO2 Battery is ready for the market and, after closing the Series B round, we are ready to guarantee its performance to any customer that is real about getting rid of fossil fuels and substituting with dispatchable renewable energies,” noted founder and CEO Claudio Spadacini in a statement.

The startup added that it expects to have two standard 20MW-200MWh frames commercially operational by the end of 2024 — noting that the first unit already in the process of being manufactured.

Its focus now is on keeping up early momentum, having gone from starting operations to commercial-scale deployment in just three years, it also said. 


“The use of proceeds of the round will serve to provide financial guarantees to customers as a demonstration that this team is ready to put their ‘skin in the game’ alongside their customers in deploying the CO2 Battery,” it added. “The investment will also support Energy Dome’s business expansion in the U.S. in order to leverage at maximum from the opportunities deriving from the Inflation Reduction Act and the associated Investment Tax Credits available for utility-scale energy storage.”

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2023/04/27/energy-dome-series-b/

Portfolio Company News: Xaba Closes Seed Funding to Drive Intelligent Automation for Sustainable ManufacturingPortfolio Company News:

February 16, 2023 07:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Xaba, developers of the first AI-driven robotics and CNC machine controller, today announced it has closed a round of seed funding to bring to market AI-driven fabrication processes and intelligent autonomous machines. The funding round was led by Hazelview Ventures with participation from Whiteshell Group Inc. The investment will be used to accelerate the development of two Xaba manufacturing platforms, launch pilot programs, and grow the team across sales, deployment, and customer support.

“For the first time, robots used in manufacturing will be able to consider all elements of execution in the process, which will ultimately reduce reliance on human supervision.”

The robotics market is changing rapidly and driving significant market interest in the adoption of intelligent, autonomous robotics systems and innovative new materials for use in manufacturing, transportation, and construction. In addition, companies are increasingly demanding intelligent robotic systems that are more accurate than those in use today and which can easily be applied to existing manufacturing operations. Xaba has taken an innovative approach to transform robots used in manufacturing today into fully intelligent, self-directed systems that can automatically optimize, adjust, or change the design flow to incorporate the various constraints typically found within mechanization.

“Xaba lowers the barriers to adopting new manufacturing technologies, materials, and approaches,” said Massimiliano Moruzzi, CEO of Xaba. “For the first time, robots used in manufacturing will be able to consider all elements of execution in the process, which will ultimately reduce reliance on human supervision.”

Xaba has two manufacturing platforms – xCognition and xTrude – which use proprietary, state of the art industrial artificial intelligence (AI) to provide consistency, robustness, persistently high execution quality, and autonomy. Its platforms eliminate the need for constant human supervision, reprogramming, and waste – factors that significantly impact the return on investment of any major manufacturing or construction process.

Xaba has partnered with leaders in the aerospace and automotive industries on disruptive projects in the U.S., Canada, and Europe to validate these manufacturing platforms with users. For Project Arrow, the all-Canadian electric vehicle, Xaba produced the world’s first 3D-printed chassis. This technology is also being used in the development of a flying car.

xCognition is Xaba’s AI-driven control system. This true industrial robotics digital twin captures and models the physics of industrial robotics systems (elastic, dynamic, mechanical, tooling), and enables any robotics system to execute tasks such as drilling, welding, assembling, riveting, laser, data acquisition, and more with maximum accuracy, repeatability, and minimum programming and human supervision.

xTrude is Xaba’s AI-driven control system for Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) processes, enabling the successful 3D printing of large functional parts while dramatically reducing failures such as de-lamination, collapse, and distortion. xTrude uses a machine learning model paired with a process control user interface to model the physics of an FDM process. It automatically computes optimum values for dominant process parameters such as flowrate, feedrate, extrusion temperature, bead width and height, and layer-to-layer adhesion temperature for every Numerical Control (NC) block along the entire printing trajectory.

Once available commercially, xCognition and xTrude will enable manufacturers to evaluate, adopt, and deploy intelligent automation in a much shorter time with a substantially higher throughput and increased sustainability.

“Xaba’s novel automation, manufacturing, and advanced materials technology is very compelling, such that we believe they can have a great impact on the construction industry,” said Roger Poirier, co-founder of Hazelview Ventures. “Consistent with our investment strategy, we are looking forward to working with Xaba to unlock the full potential of their technology as it relates to sustainable construction.”

Hazelview Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary and venture arm of Hazelview Investments Inc., is a Toronto based Real Estate owner and developer that manages CAD$11.8 billion in real estate assets and has a $10.9 billion development pipeline. Hazelview Ventures focuses exclusively on partnering with innovative, early-stage PropTech, BuildTech, and CleanTech companies that can be leveraged throughout their real estate portfolio and development projects.

In recent years, increased automation capabilities and improved sustainability have become key objectives for the construction Industry. Xaba’s technology has the potential to significantly improve sustainability in all aspects of construction and development, including automation enabling prefabrication, waste reduction, and sustainable materials.

About Xaba

Toronto-based Xaba develops new processes, control systems, and materials that automate and enable sustainable manufacturing. Its intellectual property uses artificial intelligence (AI) to control industrial robots and enable additive manufacturing machines to synthesize new materials or create true digital twins. Such applications have the potential to disrupt current business models, determine new manufacturing processes, and create new materials. For additional information, visit xaba.ai.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230216005493/en/Xaba-Closes-Seed-Funding-to-Drive-Intelligent-Automation-for-Sustainable-Manufacturing


Lisa Ballard
Boulevard Public Relations

Portfolio Company News: Canada’s home-built, sustainable EV with 3D-printed chassis to be teased in Windsor

Today, we’ll get a glimpse of Canada’s home-built Project Arrow electric vehicle when the wrap is raised on a couple of corners of the car in Windsor. That’ll be it though, at the annual conference of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA). It will just be a tease for the cameras, and a showcase for the Canadian manufacturers whose parts make up the car.

The powertrain and electronics are not quite ready, but the final car is on schedule to be ready for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, says APMA President Flavio Volpe. It will then make the rounds of consumer shows and events across Canada in 2023.

“Every single item on the car was chosen with an eye to (being) commercially ready technology that you could sell to Toyota tomorrow, or Tesla tomorrow, or Mercedes-Benz,” he said. “It will be, I think, the most creative business card that we could have built for any of the companies that we represent.”

The APMA decided in 2019 to build a one-off electric car as a showcase for Canadian technology and expertise. The vehicle could not be too exotic – it had to represent an EV that might produce 50,000 vehicles a year, and would cost no more than $60,000.

A competition for the car’s design was won by a team from Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design in Ottawa. The APMA then invited Canadian companies to contribute their technology and from the 535 bids received, 58 were chosen for the vehicle.

One of those companies is Toronto-based Xaba, a startup that’s developed a composite polymer chassis, which can be created entirely with a 3D printer. Instead of the usual steel-and-aluminum chassis that underpins conventional vehicles and can include hundreds of parts, the Xaba chassis is made from a blend of ABS plastic and chopped carbon-fibre. Where needed for additional strength or support, a metal such as aluminum can be embedded into the plastic of the chassis that’s then printed around it. It’s produced in three parts – top, middle and bottom – that are simply bolted and glued together with a variance no more than a millimetre.

“We proposed to them that if you want to make an innovative car, it shouldn’t be done using metal,” said Max Moruzzi, chief executive officer of Xaba. “It should be done using a material that is much more sustainable in different aspects, not just from a cost point of view, because it doesn’t require any mining, but as well from a fabrication point of view, and as well from its functionality and performance.”

ABS plastic is similar to the plastic used for building Lego bricks, and it is considered a sustainable material because it can be chopped and ground up and reused for similar applications. It’s strengthened with about 20-per-cent carbon fibre, though not the same expensive material that’s used in exotic vehicles, so its cost is similar to a conventional metal alternative. Its total weight is about 300 kilograms, compared to around 500 kilograms for a metal chassis.

The Project Arrow chassis was printed in four days by a 3D printer in Italy using Xaba’s patented technology. The speed of printing can be increased with scale, and Moruzzi said the printer also uses a fraction of the energy needed to create a conventional chassis – about 33 kilowatts per hour, compared to at least 500 kilowatts for the metallic version.

“I worked with the rest of the APMA team, and some of the individuals they hired for this project are professionals from Aston Martin and McLaren,” Moruzzi said. “When I had to tell them that they had to redesign completely how they make the chassis, because a metallic chassis cannot work with a polymer, that was an interesting discussion, I can tell you.”

The Project Arrow EV will not be crash-tested to prove the strength of its build, but Volpe says that is unnecessary at this stage.

“The intelligent modelling now is so incredibly accurate that you don’t have to crash test, physically,” he said – it’s only when the vehicle is completely designed and ready for production that prototypes would be built for actual crashing, to prove the engineers correct.

“The two levels of government would like to see an automotive startup culture here – we have all the components, but we also have to be a little creative. You can’t ask an entrepreneur to take their first $20-million and throw it against the wall.”

The APMA received $5-million in federal funding for the development of the Project Arrow EV, as well as $1.8-million from the Ontario government and $1.4-million from the Quebec government. Volpe estimates that the cost of research provided by the various companies chosen to contribute to the car makes it a $20-million investment.

Moruzzi considers Xaba’s involvement to be time and money well spent. The company is already working on providing plastic printed materials for a flying car that’s being developed in Boston.

Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/drive/article-canadas-home-built-sustainable-ev-with-3d-printed-chassis-to-be-teased/

Portfolio Company News: Augmenta Emerges from Stealth Mode and Raises US$4.1 Million in Seed Funding to Automate Building Design for the Construction Industry

Augmenta Construction Platform enables contractors and engineers to design fully-detailed, code-compliant, and constructible designs in hours rather than weeks or months

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Augmenta, the company automating building design for the construction industry, today announced it has emerged from stealth mode with US$4.1 million in seed funding to bring to market its design platform for the construction industry. The round was led by Hazelview Ventures with participation from Ferguson Ventures and Whiteshell Group Inc. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of the Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP); launch a pilot program for the Electrical System Design (ESD) module – the first of several solutions that have been built on Augmenta’s automated design platform; and grow the Augmenta team across sales, deployment, and customer support.

In the construction industry today, legacy tools and processes used for designing complex building systems like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC make it extremely difficult and time consuming to ensure designs are feasible for construction. Combined with time and resource pressures, this leads to errors that require significant rework, slowing down both design and construction and substantially increasing risk, uncertainty, and costs for contractors and engineers – and in turn real estate developers and owners. At a time when the industry faces talent and material shortages, and pressure mounts due to the inherent complexity of building design, Augmenta is providing innovative new technology to solve these challenges. Based on early customer trials, Augmenta is delivering enormous time and cost savings by bringing generative design to the construction industry. Through its technology platform, Augmenta is automating the entire design process for contractors and engineers, ensuring the designs they create are error-free, constructible, and optimized according to client needs, and created in hours instead of weeks.

Building designs produced using ACP are also sustainable. Since they are fully detailed, coordinated, and optimized, contractors can use less material in their designs, order only what they need, and significantly reduce wasteful errors and rework. Additionally, ACP optimizes building systems designs to ensure they use less energy and resources, thereby reducing environmental impact over the building’s life cycle.

“The construction industry continues to face major challenges due to manual design processes – and is ripe for disruption,” said Francesco Iorio, CEO and co-founder of Augmenta. “We are bringing a massive sea change to the industry by introducing technology that will make the transition from current manual design processes to generative design as fundamental as the shift from pen and paper to computers.”

Hazelview Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary and venture arm of Hazelview Investments Inc., focuses exclusively on partnering with innovative, early-stage PropTech, BuildTech, and CleanTech companies. Along with the seed investment, Hazelview Ventures is a strategic partner that will be incorporating the Augmenta platform in construction projects. This partnership will enable Augmenta to test, refine, and scale its platform at an enterprise level and bring efficiencies to Hazelview’s design and construction processes. Hazelview Investments manages CAD$11.6 billion in real estate assets and has a $4 billion development pipeline.

“Augmenta’s technology is a huge step forward for the construction industry and will help stakeholders achieve both cost savings and ESG benefits through waste reduction,” said Roger Poirier, co-founder of Hazelview Ventures. “We are excited to be partnered with such a ground-breaking company.” Concurrent with the investment in Augmenta, Poirier will join the Augmenta board of directors.

“We support innovation in the construction industry and invest in startups that enable significant productivity advancements to help our customers build better,” said Blake Luse, Managing Director at Ferguson Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Ferguson. “Augmenta’s approach in bringing Generative Design to the construction industry will drive efficiencies and help solve business challenges that our contractor customers are facing today. Ultimately, our investment in Augmenta will help skilled trade workers be more efficient on the jobsite and deliver environmental value by helping to reduce construction waste due to less jobsite rework.” Ferguson is a leading North American value-added distributor that provides expertise, solutions, and building supplies to plumbing, fire, HVAC, fabrication, and other trade professionals.

In preparation for the imminent launch of a pilot program for its first product – an automated design module for electrical engineers and contractors that generates fully constructible, code-compliant designs of electrical raceway routing – Augmenta has partnered with Interstates, an innovative electrical contractor based in the U.S. Interstates has helped co-design and test the electrical module over a period of several months in collaboration with Augmenta.

“In a very short period of time, we are seeing how dramatically Augmenta’s approach to automated design can reduce the cost of the design process,” said Josh Gillespie, BIM/VDC Director at Interstates. “It enables us to decrease the risk of inaccurately scoping time and cost estimates while drastically reducing the time it takes to complete estimates for bids. This gives us additional time to present fully considered design alternatives, thus positioning our company as a strategic partner to our clients, which include general contractors, engineering firms, developers, and owners.”

About Augmenta

Founded by the ex-Autodesk team that pioneered Generative Design, Augmenta is a software company that is driving a new level of efficiency for the construction industry by automating building design. The company’s flagship Augmenta Construction Platform (ACP) is being developed with a view to ensuring buildings are always designed to be energy efficient, use sustainable materials, are safer to build, and contribute less waste to landfill during construction. Once available commercially, this innovative new cloud-based platform – which uses artificial intelligence, including machine learning and mathematical optimization – will enable contractors and engineers to create error-free, constructible, code-compliant designs of buildings and systems in hours instead of weeks. For additional information, visit augmenta.ai.

Source: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220621005024/en/Augmenta-Emerges-from-Stealth-Mode-and-Raises-US4.1-Million-in-Seed-Funding-to-Automate-Building-Design-for-the-Construction-Industry

Whiteshell Advisory Pleased to Participate in Bringing Two Iconic Canadian Transportation Companies Together

Fastfrate Group announces majority acquisition of Challenger Group

TORONTO, June 16, 2022 /CNW/ – Today, Fastfrate Group has announced the majority acquisition of the Challenger Group. The newly combined entity will help address the rapidly changing state of supply chains.

Fastfrate Group will add the Challenger Group’s industry-leading cross-border trucking capabilities to complete an already diverse suite of services, which includes LTL, TL, intermodal, drayage, logistics, warehousing, distribution services, home delivery, e-commerce, and more.

“Our acquisition of the Challenger Group brings together two iconic organizations in transportation and supply chain,” said Ron Tepper, Chairman of Fastfrate Group. “Together, we are a force within our industry that will compete collectively to deliver a complete and complementary suite of solutions to customers. This will serve to help our customers as supply chains become more diverse.”

Together the new entity will bring over 100 years of experience combined, more than 5,000 employees and owner operators, over 1.2 million sqft of facilities, and over 5,500 pieces of equipment.

“With similar histories of entrepreneurship and growth, this is as much an acquisition as it is a partnership of like minds,” said Dan Einwechter, Founder and Chairman of Challenger. “We are excited to offer truly end-to-end transportation and supply chain solutions to our customers which support their needs and grow their business.”

As part of the terms of the acquisition, Challenger Group will continue to operate independently under incoming CEO Jim Peeples. Dan Einwechter will remain Chairman of Challenger Group and join the Board of Directors of Fastfrate Group. Manny Calandrino will continue as CEO of the Fastfrate Group. Current employees and management teams at both organizations will not be impacted by the transaction.

“Who we are won’t change,” said Jim Peeples, CEO of Challenger Group. “Like Fastfrate Group, we remain focused on delivering exceptional service, maintaining a people-first culture, and providing end-to-end services that meet our customers’ needs. Those common values are what will drive our collective success.”

Now with 7 companies and 40 locations operating across Canada and the United States, Fastfrate Group is one of the largest independently owned transportation and supply chain companies in Canada.

“After years of aggressive growth, Fastfrate Group is ready to set a new standard in our industry,” said Manny Calandrino, CEO of Fastfrate Group. “We have the people, solutions, and service to deliver on our promise to customers. And when we deliver, our customers win.”

Loopstra Nixon LLP is acting as legal counsel and Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc. is acting as financial advisor to the Fastfrate Group. Scotiabank and Whiteshell Advisory Inc. are acting as financial advisors and Gowling WLG is serving as legal counsel to the Challenger Group.

About Fastfrate Group

Fastfrate Group is comprised of 6 companies operating out of 30 terminals and final mile hubs across Canada and into the United States. We provide industry-leading, end-to-end supply chain solutions that are an essential part of keeping our customers businesses running. We offer customers a full suite of asset-based transportation including over-the-road, crossborder and intermodal LTL and TL, drayage and transload, warehousing, distribution, final mile, and logistics services. With a 56-year legacy in Canada, we are driven to be the country’s most trusted and leading transportation company. 

About Challenger

Challenger Motor Freight has been serving customers for 48 years. We provide leading transportation, warehousing, and distribution services to customers from coast-to-coast, with the ability to ship domestically and across North America. Challenger transportation services include LTL, full truckload, rail transport, intermodal, and expedite services to ensure efficient, on-time delivery. Logistics and Supply Chain Management, including Third-Party Logistics and On-site Warehousing are key parts of Challenger’s complete shipping and transportation solution. Our customs specialists make hassle-free cross-border shipments easy.

Source: https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/fastfrate-group-announces-majority-acquisition-of-challenger-group-872905057.html

Portfolio Company News: Energy Dome Launches World’s First CO2 Battery Long-Duration Energy Storage Plant

Energy Dome, a provider of utility-scale long-duration energy storage, has successfully launched its first CO2 Battery facility in Sardinia, Italy. This milestone marks the final de-risking of the CO2 Battery technology as Energy Dome enters the commercial scaling phase, becoming the first commercial long-duration energy storage technology on the market offering a reliable alternative to fossil fuels for dispatchable baseload power globally

The initial phase of operations has confirmed the performance of the CO2 Battery and its capability of storing energy for a long duration, all while maintaining highly competitive round-trip efficiency, without degradation or site dependency. The Sardinia demonstration project has proven this innovative process using off-the-shelf equipment available from a globally established supply chain, demonstrating that the rapid global deployment of the CO2 Battery is now possible with no bottlenecks.

“I am proud of our dedicated team and of our results. We can now provide an answer to the most pressing issue of our time: climate change,” said Energy Dome Founder and CEO Claudio Spadacini. “Our breakthrough technology, the CO2 Battery, is now commercially available to make cost-effective renewable energy dispatchable on a global scale.” 

Energy Dome’s CO2 Batteries can be quickly deployed anywhere in the world at less than half the cost of similar-sized lithium-ion battery storage facilities, and use readily available materials, such as carbon dioxide, steel and water. Energy Dome is now preparing for its first full-scale 20MW-200MWh plant. Its first commercial project, Commercial Operation Date, is expected to be deployed by the end of 2023.

Energy Dome began its operations in February 2020 and has progressed from a concept to full testing at multi-megawatt scale in just over two years. To achieve this, Energy Dome has tapped a team of experts in turbomachinery, process engineering and energy, with a proven track record in ventures designing novel turbines and building over 500MW of energy projects. This successful launch is also in part due to the unique nature of Energy Dome’s process, which integrates known components in a novel industrial process based on a thermodynamic transformation of CO2.

The company has already secured multiple commercial agreements, including with an Italian utility A2A for the construction of a first 20MW-5h facility. Earlier this year, Energy Dome also signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Ansaldo Energia, a major provider of power generation plants and components, to build long-duration energy storage projects in Italy, Germany, the Middle East and Africa.

Energy Dome’s plan is backed by investors including European deeptech venture capital firm 360 Capital, Barclays, Novum Capital Partners and Third Derivative. 

To fund the rapid commercial scale-up, Energy Dome plans to launch its Series B fundraising round for prospective investors interested in its groundbreaking energy storage technology.

Read the article here: https://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/storage/energy-dome-launches-world-s-first-co2-20220608

Rhenti Announces Partnership with Residential Rental Heavyweight Hazelview Alongside Latest $2.4 Million Seed Funding

Toronto, ON, September 2, 2021 – Rhenti today has announced a new partnership with Hazelview Ventures (“Hazelview”) that will help the proptech start-up to strengthen its product offering and further expand across Canada. The partnership also includes a lead investment by Hazelview in the closing of Rhenti’s $2.4M seed round. The round also includes strategic investment from Fieldgate Homes, Whiteshell Group Inc., and other private angel investors.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Hazelview. This partnership gives our team an opportunity to push the Rhenti experience to countless renters and operators across Canada and brings us one step toward our goal of making Rhenti the default leasing software across the country,” said Tomas Ronis, CEO and Co-founder of Rhenti. “This is also a great indicator that we’ve built a solution that has earned the attention of a major player in the residential rental industry. It’s a great proof point and although we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, I’m proud of our team.”

“We are fully aligned with their vision of streamlining the experience for landlords and tenants,” said Roger Poirier, Co-Founder of Hazelview Ventures. “This partnership will allow Rhenti to grow by collaborating with an organization that has proven market access, an established reputation, and extensive industry experience. It will help our team by leveraging Rhenti’s software to create operational efficiencies and provide tenants with a simple experience that comes from automation.”

The residential rental industry has typically seen very little innovation in the past. While property owners and managers have struggled with gaining efficiencies, the experience that renters have during their rental search and the overall tenant experience has also been largely ignored. Rhenti’s end-to-end leasing solution streamlines the rental experience with powerful marketing and leasing tools that reduce the time to lease and increase the chance of finding the right renter-rental match. This is good news for the industry as property owners and renters are forced to navigate an increasing number of listing sites and rental tools across the internet, exacerbating an already confusing process.

With its latest funding, Rhenti will grow the team and increase focus on product development and growth across Canada. “We’ve interviewed countless property owners and operators. We know exactly what problems we need to solve,” said Erin Chan, CPO and Co-founder of Rhenti. “The key will be to keep the team moving fast and focussed on the right things. If we can accomplish everything that we set out to, the future where renting is not an awful experience is just around the corner. I’m excited that we get the opportunity to build it.”

About Rhenti
Rhenti is the industry-leading residential real estate software platform that makes the end-to-end process of marketing and leasing fast, easy, and transparent. Having served over 1,000 property owners and operators who collectively manage over 42,000 doors across Canada, Rhenti aims to streamline ‘renting’ with a heavy emphasis on elevating the renter experience. Visit rhenti.com to learn more.

About Hazelview Investments

Hazelview Investments has been an active investor, owner, and manager of global real estate investments since 1999 and remains committed to creating value for people and places. Hazelview employs a global investment and asset management team of more than 70 people in its offices in Toronto, New York, Hong Kong and Hamburg and manages CAD 9.9 billion in real estate assets. To learn more visit hazelview.com.

For more information, please contact:

Erin Chan




Newtopia Appoints Roger Poirier to the Company’s Board of Directors

TORONTO, July 12, 2021 /CNW/ – Newtopia Inc. (“Newtopia” or the “Company“) (TSXV: NEWU), a tech-enabled habit change provider focused on disease prevention, is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Poirier, CFA to the Company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. With Mr. Poirier’s appointment, Newtopia has expanded its board to include five directors. Mr. Poirier has more than three decades of capital markets, finance and M&A experience and will serve on Newtopia’s Audit Committee.

Mr. Poirier is the Founder of Whiteshell Group Inc., a Toronto-based merchant bank with a focus on venture capital and mid-market private and public companies. Prior to founding Whiteshell, Mr. Poirier was a co-founder of Cormark Securities, an institutional equity boutique in Toronto, where he held various senior positions over an 18-year period. Most recently, he was Managing Director, Investment Banking and held internal roles, including Deputy Chair – Risk Committee and member of the Audit Committee.

“We are excited to welcome Roger to our Board of Directors,” said Jeff Ruby, Founder & CEO, Newtopia. “Roger’s extensive capital markets experience will be a great complement to, and will round out, our Board’s current roster of expertise. I anticipate that Roger will add significant value to Newtopia as we continue to expand our innovative habit change platform across North America.”

“I am honored to join Newtopia’s Board of Directors,” said Roger Poirier. “Newtopia’s focus on slowing, reversing and preventing the onset of chronic disease is a critical component of reducing insurer costs and driving the overall improvement of employee health. I look forward to collaborating with my fellow directors and expanding awareness of the company’s unique habit change platform as Newtopia continues to grow and expand.”

To learn more about Newtopia’s corporate governance policies and review the Company’s full list of directors, please visit the Corporate Governance section of Newtopia’s investor website at investor.newtopia.com

About Newtopia

Newtopia is a tech-enabled habit change provider focused on disease prevention and reducing the cost of care for health insurers. As a provider of whole person care, we prevent, reverse, and slow the progression of chronic disease while enriching mental health, resilience and overall human performance. Newtopia’s programs leverage genetic, social, and behavioral insights to create individualized prevention programs with a focus on type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and weight. With a person-centered approach that combines virtual care, digital tools, connected devices and actionable data science, Newtopia delivers sustainable clinical and financial outcomes. Newtopia serves some of the largest nationwide employers and health plans and is currently listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSXV: NEWU). To learn more, visit newtopia.comFacebookLinkedIn or Twitter.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements, within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation, and forward looking statements, within the meaning of applicable United States securities legislation (collectively, “forward-looking statements”), which reflects management’s expectations regarding Newtopia’s future growth, results from operations (including, without limitation, future production and capital expenditures), performance (both operational and financial) and business prospects and opportunities. Wherever possible, words such as “predicts”, “projects”, “targets”, “plans”, “expects”, “does not expect”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “anticipate” or “does not anticipate”, “believe”, “intend” and similar expressions or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved, or the negative or grammatical variation thereof or other variations thereof, or comparable terminology have been used to identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be forward-looking ‎information. Such statements reflect Newtopia’s current views and intentions with respect to future ‎events, based on information available to Newtopia, and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and ‎assumptions. Material factors or assumptions were applied in providing forward-looking information. While forward-looking statements are based on data, assumptions and analyses that Newtopia believes are reasonable under the circumstances, whether actual results, performance or developments will meet Newtopia’s expectations and predictions depends on a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results, performance and financial condition of Newtopia to differ materially from its expectations. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, the estimated cost savings to plan payers associated with the use of Newtopia’s platform by plan members, the potential cost of care reduction for other Medicare risk-bearing entities, the continued engagement with Newtopia’s platform by plan members, clients continuing to offer Newtopia’s platform pursuant to agreements entered into, statements relating to Newtopia’s business plans and outlook. Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee and are based on a number of estimates and assumptions management believes to be relevant and reasonable, whether actual results, performance or developments will meet Newtopia’s expectations and predictions depends on a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results, performance and financial condition of Newtopia to differ materially from its expectations. Certain of the “risk factors” that could cause ‎actual results to differ materially from Newtopia’s forward-looking statements in this press release ‎include, without limitation: the termination of contracts by clients, risks related to COVID-19 including various recommendations, orders and measures of ‎‎governmental authorities to try to limit the pandemic, including travel restrictions, border closures, ‎‎non-essential business closures, quarantines, self-isolations, shelters-in-place and social ‎distancing, ‎disruptions to markets, economic activity, financing, supply chains and sales channels, ‎and a ‎deterioration of general economic conditions including a possible national or global ‎recession; and other general economic, market and business conditions and factors, including the risk factors discussed or referred to in Newtopia’s disclosure documents, filed with the securities ‎regulatory authorities in certain provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com including Newtopia’s final long form prospectus dated March 30, 2020.

Should any factor affect Newtopia’s in an unexpected manner, or should assumptions underlying the forward- looking information prove incorrect, the actual results or events may differ materially from the results or events predicted. Any such forward-looking information is expressly qualified in its entirety by this cautionary statement. Moreover, Newtopia does not assume responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of such forward-looking information. The forward-looking information included in this press release is made as of the date of this press release, and Newtopia undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information, other than as required by applicable law.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

SOURCE Newtopia Inc.

For further information: Chief Executive Officer: Jeff Ruby, jruby@newtopia.com; 888-639-8181; ADDO Investor Relations: Kimberly Esterkin, investor@newtopia.com; 310-829-5400

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Boat Rocker Media Completes Initial Public Offering Raising Gross Proceeds of C$170.1 Million


TORONTO, March 24, 2021 /CNW/ – Boat Rocker Media Inc. (“Boat Rocker Media” or the “Company”), an independent, integrated global entertainment company, announced today the closing of its previously announced initial public offering (the “Offering”) of subordinate voting shares of the Company for total gross proceeds to the Company of C$170,100,000.

The subordinate voting shares will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange today under the ticker symbol “BRMI”.

“The completion of our IPO represents an exciting next chapter for Boat Rocker,” said David Fortier and Ivan Schneeberg, Co-Founders and Co-Executive Chairmen, Boat Rocker Media and Co-Chairmen, Boat Rocker Studios. “We’re proud of what the company has achieved to date, but believe we’re just starting to unlock the full potential of our multi-genre IP creation engine.”

“Following the completion of our IPO we have enhanced balance sheet strength and financial flexibility to advance our growth strategy, against a backdrop of robust and growing demand for content globally,” said John Young, Chief Executive Officer of Boat Rocker Media. “We are now in an ideal position to pursue a range of initiatives designed to further expand our creative and commercial capabilities and deliver shareholder value.”

The Offering was underwritten by a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities Inc., as joint bookrunners, J.P. Morgan Securities Canada Inc., as co-lead manager, and including BMO Capital Markets, Scotiabank, Cormark Securities Inc., and Canaccord Genuity Corp.

The underwriters have been granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 2,835,000 subordinate voting shares at a price of C$9.00 per share for additional gross proceeds of C$25,515,000 if the over-allotment option is exercised in full. The over-allotment option can be exercised for a period of 30 days after the closing date of the Offering.

Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal counsel to Boat Rocker Media and Goodmans LLP acted as legal counsel to the underwriters. Whiteshell Advisory Inc. acted as an advisor to the Company.

No securities regulatory authority has either approved or disapproved the contents of this news release. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale or any acceptance of an offer to buy the subordinate voting shares in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to sell the subordinate voting shares or any other securities in the United States. The securities issued under the Offering have not been, and will not be, registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “U.S. Securities Act”), or the securities laws of any state of the United States and may not be offered, sold or delivered, directly or indirectly, in the United States, except to Qualified Institutional Buyers (as defined in Rule 144A of the U.S. Securities Act) pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act and applicable state securities laws.

About Boat Rocker Media

Boat Rocker Media is an independent, integrated global entertainment company that harnesses the power of creativity and commerce to tell stories and build iconic brands for audiences around the world. Boat Rocker Studios (the “Studio”), the Company’s creative engine, creates, produces and distributes award-winning content and franchises across all major genres via its Scripted, Unscripted, and Kids & Family divisions. The Studio distributes and licenses thousands of hours of its own and third-party content worldwide. Boat Rocker Media owns or invests in companies in the entertainment industry that bolster the company’s strategic and operational goals, including Insight Productions (Unscripted), Jam Filled Entertainment (2D and 3D Animation), Industrial Brothers (Kids & Family Animation) and Untitled Entertainment, a leading global talent management company that represents leading on-screen talent and celebrities. A selection of Boat Rocker Media’s projects include: Orphan Black (BBC AMERICA, CTV Sci-Fi Channel), Dear…(Apple TV+), Lip Sync Battle (Paramount Network), The Amazing Race Canada (CTV), MasterChef Canada (CTV), The Next Step (Family Channel, CBC), The Loud House (Nickelodeon), Remy & Boo (Universal Kids, CBC), and Dino Ranch (CBC, Disney Junior). For more information, please visit www.boatrocker.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws, which reflects the Company’s current expectations regarding future events. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, failure to complete the Offering and the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” in the Final Prospectus. Actual results could differ materially from those projected herein. Boat Rocker Media does not undertake any obligation to update such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required under applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Boat Rocker Media Inc.

For further information: Craig Armitage, Boat Rocker Media, Investor Relations, craig.armitage@loderockadvisors.com416.347.8954; Matt Salvatore, Boat Rocker Media, Corporate Communications, matt.salvatore@boatrocker.com, 613.852.7462

Richard Shortt to replace Roger Poirier as President of Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Feb. 28, 2020 /CNW/ – Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited, which operates a network of commercial vehicle dealerships across Ontario, today announced that Vice President of Operations, Richard Shortt, will be appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company following the planned departure of Roger Poirier, CFA, on February 28th, 2020, after two years in the President role. Kevin Tallman will remain as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.

“The Rush Truck Centres Board of Directors is pleased to appoint Richard Shortt as our next President,” said Rusty Rush, Chairman of the Company. “Richard is a proven, seasoned executive who has played an important role in the company’s strategic transformation over the last decade. Richard has a long history of successes within the commercial vehicle dealership industry and has deep breadth of experience across the Company’s various business segments.”

“In his tenure as our President, Roger Poirier has re-energized the Company as a strong competitor and further established the Company as the industry’s growth leader in Canada. He has led several corporate reorganization initiatives, including acquisitions and divestitures, as well as extensive cost saving implementations. Roger was integral to the formation of the Company and integration with Rush Enterprises Inc., which will continue to provide ongoing operational synergies and enhance the Company’s network effect into the United States. Roger has partnered closely with Richard Shortt over the last two years in anticipation of the planned transition for Richard to assume the role of President,” said Rusty Rush.

“Roger’s strong leadership skills were present throughout his time at the Company, and I’m sure that everyone at the Company benefitted from his professionalism. I’m personally very appreciative of the time Roger spent with us as President,” added Kevin Tallman.

Roger Poirier stated: “I am so proud of our collective efforts to strive for constant improvement over the last few years and I remain grateful to the entire Rush Truck Centres of Canada team for being so welcoming and receptive to change. Partnering with Kevin Tallman has been an exceptional professional experience. Thanks to Kevin and his family, the organization that I joined two years ago was already well positioned as a platform for growth as they had established a strong corporate culture that put ethics and customer service first. More recently, working with the team at Rush Enterprises has given me the opportunity to work closely with a truly entrepreneurial and professionally managed public company. I’m so pleased to have played a role in bringing these two companies together to form such a strong partnership.”

Richard Shortt has more than 25 years of dealer operations and management experience. He joined Kevin Tallman’s organization as Branch Manager in 2007 and was subsequently promoted to Vice President of Operations shortly thereafter. Richard started his career in the commercial vehicle dealership industry in the early 1990’s as general manager of a dealership. Richard has a strong history of working in, and managing, all facets of an ever-expanding Canadian dealership network. He has a firm understanding of the needs of his customers and maintains a true passion for the business.

About Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited

Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited operates the largest International Truck dealership network in Canada.  Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited is owned by a subsidiary of Rush Enterprises, Inc. and the former dealer principles of Tallman Group, which previously owned and operated the dealership assets that now comprise Rush Truck Centres of Canada Limited. The company employs over 600 people and operates 14 locations, 2 collision centres and 6 associate locations in Ontario offering commercial trucks and trailers.  In addition, the company operates an Idealease franchise that includes over 1,100 trucks in its lease and rental fleet. 

SOURCE Rush Truck Centres of Canada

For further information: Press Contact: Nicola Shortt, 289-404-0334, nshortt@rushtruckcentres.ca