Weekend roundup: White Star invests in Freshly, Ovivo gets acquired


Several Montreal-based tech companies gave and received money this past week. Montreal-based White Star Capital joined Freshly’s US $21 million series B round, Canadian water treatment company Ovivo Inc was acquired by Germany-based SKion GmbH and Regimen Equity Partners invested in Montreal’s Plastifab Industries.

Pehub’s Kirk Falconer reported the news.

White Star Capital pitches in on Freshly’s big series B

Weekend roundup

White Star Capital, a venture capital firm founded by Eric Martineau-Fortin with offices in Montréal, New York and London, joined New York-based Freshly‘s US $21 million round. They were already an existing investor with the startup.

Insight Venture Partners led the round. Freshly is a chef-prepared meal delivery service. The company claims it’s expanded its delivery area from nine to 28 states since its launch in 2015. It now ships close to 250,000 meals per month. Freshly will expand delivery to the east coast later this year and has grown its staff from 15 people at launch to over 160 employees.

The company will use the cash to hire engineering talent as well.

“Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists still look at the $1.5 trillion spent in the U.S. on food and salivate at the size of the market,” wrote Forbes’ Alex Konrad. “The latest is Freshly, a New York-based startup founded in January 2015 that promises even healthier meals that customers can serve—you guessed it—even faster. Freshly users choose from meal options that shun gluten, refined sugar and additives; the meals arrive carefully packaged to then sit in the fridge for up to a week and be heated up and ready to eat in just two to three minutes.”

Ovivo gets acquired by German firm

Montreal-based water treatment company Ovivo is getting acquired by an affiliate of the German family office SKion GmbH, in partnership with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

The deal will allow Ovivo (TSX: OVI.A, OVI.B) to go private and has an enterprise value of about $185 million, including debt, according to Falconer. SKion will own 70 per cent of Ovivo. The Caisse will own 30 per cent.

SKion is an investment company of German entrepreneur Susanne Klatten (its main holdings being ALTANA, SGL Carbon, Nordex, AVISTA OIL, EnviroChemie, ELIQUO WATER GROUP and Paques).

Ovivo, meanwhile, is a global provider of equipment, technology and systems “producing among the purest water and treating some of the most challenging wastewater in the industry.”

“SKion understands and has a deep respect for Ovivo’s Québec entrepreneurship heritage which has been a key component of the Corporation’s historic success and will remain a highly important factor in the future,” said the company’s Chairman, Laurent Verreault.

The company’s president, Marc Barbeay, said the company wants to expand.

“The water treatment industry requires long-term investments in technologies and expertise in order to compete and grow,” he said. “SKion and la Caisse’s resources and long-term vision will provide us with the ability to invest in innovation, talented resources, market development and business acquisitions.”

Regimen Equity Partners invests in Montreal’s Plastifab Industries

Montreal’s Plastifab Industries has raised an undisclosed amount of equity financing from Vancouver-based Regimen Equity Partners. The deal marks Regimen’s third investment of its first fund.

Plastifab is a manufacturer of extruded thermoplastic rod, tube, profile and other shapes for a wide range of industrial and consumer end-uses. The company sells its custom products to US and Canadian industrial sectors, including automotive, mining, point of purchase display, fluid handling and waste water treatment.

Plastifab focuses on “creativity and innovation to solve demanding application issues with unique technical and custom solutions.”

“It was a pleasure to come across an SME where the majority owners took succession seriously. Rick empowered and mentored a young team while including them as owners years ago, a textbook strategy for transition,” said Regimen’s managing director, Gerry Bellerive. “The Plastics Extrusion Industry remains highly fragmented with aging owners looking for an exit strategy. Plastifab is well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity.”

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