Automation firm Conexiom looks to double headcount following US$40m raise

Conexiom CEO Ray Grady | submitted

What happened: Conexiom raises US$40 million from new investor

Why it matters: Company plans to boost employment in Canada, ramp up expansion into Europe

A Vancouver tech company specializing in automation is looking to expand its global footprint and hire more workers in Canada following a US$40 million raise.

The new capital for Conexiom (Ecmarket Inc.) comes courtesy of San Francisco-based investment firm ICONIQ Capital.

The multimillion-dollar sum, announced Tuesday (July 28), still leaves previous investor Luminate Capital with a majority stake in the B.C. company.

Conexiom has 160 employees globally, with 80 based in Vancouver and 45 in Kitchener.

“You’ll see both of those teams probably double in the next year,” said CEO and president Ray Grady, who is based in the company’s Chicago office.

He added much of the growth capital will be aimed at its sales and marketing teams.

Conexiom began expanding into Europe in late 2019 with the opening of a U.K. office.

Grady said the new investment also means the company will ramp up expansion plans for the European market.

Conexiom specializes in automation software for sales orders that were previously done manually.

Companies buying products from manufacturers or distributors frequently find themselves faxing or emailing orders in — a process that can be time-consuming and lead to errors, according to Grady.

But the machine learning technology developed by Conexiom “understands” the documents being submitted, the CEO said.

“We extract the data from these documents. We don’t read it — that’s what older technology did,” Grady told BIV.

“And then we integrate it into our customers’ backend where that order is now touchless and those people who used to have to spend their days printing documents and re-keying that into a system can service a customer, sell new products to customers, etc.”

Grady said the pandemic caught many companies flat-footed as they struggled with labour shortages during lock-down periods.

He said more businesses are looking to technology to help reallocate labour and Conexiom has been experiencing an uptick in interest since the outset of the COVID-19 crisis.

Conexiom said its most recent year-on-year growth amounted to 70% — a new record for the company.