Vancouver-based connected car app developer Mojio will receive the first investment from the $100-million BC Tech Fund, it was announced Friday.
Mojio, which was founded only four years ago, will be receiving between $1 million and $3 million. CFO David Shore says Mojio is very proud to be part of the BC Tech Fund.
“We had a vision towards a future when everyday vehicles would be connected to the internet,” Shore told assembled journalists.
“As we stand here today… Mojio provides all of the elements needed for customers to … unlock the hidden data in our cars.”
Mojio is currently the leading open platform for connected cars and is about to launch with a wireless carrier partner in the US and across Europe with Deutsche Telekom.
‘Grow big, stay home’
Also announced on Monday were the managers of the fund – investment company Kensington Capital, which will have full power over funding decisions.
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, said the province selected a private company to keep politics out of the decision-making.
Although the company will have full responsibility for the funding, Virk said he will be measuring the number of jobs created and the amount of funds leveraged.
“When tech companies start up, they want to change the world… and that’s what I see in our tech space,” said Virk. “It’s growing at an unprecedented rate.”
The BC Tech Fund aims to help tech companies access the early stage venture capital they need to stay in BC, diversify the economy and create high-paying jobs here.
To be eligible for investment from the BC Tech Fund, companies must be BC-based and engaged in life sciences/health care, digital media, ICT or clean technology.
They must also have positive revenues, sales to paying customers and be seeking capital to help scale and grow the business at the series A stage.
Virk said the latest figures showed the tech sector employs 92,700 people in BC, and he wants the province’s tech companies to “grow big, and stay home.”
The BC Tech Fund is limited to $100 million, but Virk says he’s hoping that the fund’s investments reap benefits four or five times the value.
“We are effectively putting half a billion dollars into the venture capital space in British Columbia,” said Virk.