Miovision: Behind The Deal With McRock Capital

May 10, 2018 | By: Jon Jackson

On May 7, Kitchener-based Miovision announced that McRock Capital led a CAD $15M in financing along with participation from existing investor, MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. (MKB), and new investors BDC Capital and HarbourVest Partners. As part of the financing, McRock co-founder, Whitney Rockley, has joined the Board of Directors.

Founded in 2005, Miovision is a leader in smart traffic intersection technology. Their solutions have been installed by more than 100 state transportation departments and city agencies in North America, while its artificial intelligence-based video traffic data collection product has been used in over 17,000 municipalities globally.

As part of the CVCA’s ongoing “Behind The Deal” series, we caught up with McRock Capital, the first dedicated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) venture capital fund, to dig a bit deeper into the deal.

Miovision Kitchener, ON Headquarters

Why did McRock choose to invest in this company and the management team?

McRock has been following Miovision for the past decade. Kurtis McBride, co-founder and CEO, made guest appearances in two of McRock’s Journey videos back in 2013 and 2014 when we were raising our fund: Keep On Keeping On and The McRock Express. Kurtis is the maestro of traffic and has built Miovision into a leading smart city company through smart traffic intersection solutions, which is bull’s eye with McRock’s IIoT investment strategy.

What will the invested dollars be used for?

The use of proceeds will be used to continue the advancement of Miovision’s open architecture technology at the traffic intersection to enable applications such as emergency vehicle prioritization. The company is also aggressively expanding its channel presence globally.

Where did you hear about Miovision?

Scott MacDonald, co-founder and Managing Partner at McRock, was first approached by Kurtis shortly after he started the company. Over the years, Kurtis and the McRock founders have exchanged ideas on financing options and smart city market intelligence.

What is your expectation for the smart intersection market in the short term and long term?

Rapid urbanizations have created a need for major infrastructure investment in cities. The smart intersection market is US $23.6 billion today and is expected to grow to $60.7 billion in 5 years with a CAGR of over 20 percent. The traffic intersection is the backbone of any city. Through an open architecture solution, cities can transform themselves to be smarter and smarter.

What is your exit horizon on this deal?

McRock’s exit horizon has been set to 4-5 years from date of initial investment.

Tell us about the lead at McRock involved in this deal.

When McRock embarks on diligence, our entire investment team descends on the company. We used pretty much all our skills when we closed this investment but of particular note was how McRock’s principal, Jeremy Gilman, applied his extensive PE background on the deal structure. He made the complex seem simple.

Diversity in the Portfolio Company and Community Impact

What is the number and percentage of women on the executive team at Miovision?

Four members of Miovision’s senior management team are women representing approximately 40% of the senior team. Diversity and inclusion has been a priority for the company over the past few years. Natalie Dumond, Chief Culture Officer, and Jennifer Wincey, VP of Organizational Strategy, have been leading a number of initiatives.

What is the number and percentage of indigenous people, persons with disabilities, visible minorities and women on the executive team in Miovision?

From a broader diversity perspective, 50% of Miovision’s senior management team represent visible minorities, indigenous people, persons with disability and women.

Number of jobs to be created with most recent investment round?

25 direct jobs were created.

Number of jobs created since company inception?

180 direct jobs have been created since inception

What are some of the ways Miovision is making an impact in the community (environmental, social, governance)?

Miovision’s founder and CEO, Kurtis McBride, believes in giving back to the tech community. He does a lot of “pay-it-forward” mentoring with entrepreneurs in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. He is also the champion and co-founder of the Catayst137 development, the world’s largest IoT manufacturing campus, ensuring that other IoT companies had a place to grow and thrive.

Are there any other initiatives Miovision is involved with that you’d like to mention?

Miovision has recently lent its voice to the debate on data ownership in Canada. The Company advocates that city data should be city-owned and that taxpayers should be the primary beneficiaries of the data being collected on their streets.

 

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