Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec leads Poka $10M Series A

Poka has raised $10 million in Series A round of financing led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) through its fund Espace CDPQ with participation of Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the Leclerc family, and seed investors, iNovia Capital and Uncork Capital.

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Quebec City based based Poka is a training and knowledge platform for manufacturers. Its web and mobile app that gives workers the power to capture, consume and share critical information in real-time on the factory floor, leading to improved productivity.

New funding help the company expand into the United States and Europe and better support its growing global customer base.

Poka has raised over $17 million in funding, since its inception. In December 2014, Poka raised $2.5 million in seed funding from iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC.

photo credit: Poka

News Release

Poka Announces a $10 million Investment led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Bosch

Private Equity Québec, March 7, 2018

App Empowers Factory Workers to Learn, Share and Troubleshoot in Real-Time

Poka, a training and knowledge platform for manufacturers, announced today that it has raised $10 million in financing which will help the company expand into the United States and Europe and better support its growing global customer base. In addition to the ongoing participation of Poka’s original seed investors, iNovia Capital and Uncork Capital, participants in the Series A funding round included Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec through its fund Espace CDPQ, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) and the Leclerc family.

Poka is a Web and mobile app that gives workers the power to capture, consume and share critical information in real-time on the factory floor, leading to improved productivity. In just 3 years, Poka has become a catalyst for digital transformation among manufacturing leaders including Thomas & Betts, ArcelorMittal, WestRock, and Danone. By creating a standardized multimedia knowledge base of guides, training content and solutions related to each workstation and machine, Poka helps reduce production downtime, improve quality and safety, and facilitate communication across factories, departments and shifts.

“Multiple trends including an aging workforce and increased automation are converging right now to cause a skills gap,” said CEO and co-founder Alex Leclerc, “Poka addresses these challenges by accelerating employee onboarding and improving knowledge sharing in the new Smart Factory era.”

“As the industrial sector is undergoing rapid changes, manufacturers must leverage new ideas and technologies to stay competitive. Poka’s solutions help manufacturers improve their performance and achieve the digital sophistication that is now necessary to stand out,” said Christian Dubé, la Caisse’s Executive Vice-President, Québec. “We are proud to support innovative companies like Poka in their development and international expansion.”

“Our investment in Poka reflects the commitment of RBVC to helping the industry respond to changing market forces through innovation,” said Luis Lloveraom, Managing Director at RBVC, “Poka is a game changer because it completely rethinks how training and knowledge sharing happen on the factory floor.”

About Poka

Poka is the first ever training and content application made specifically to address the needs of manufacturers in the Smart Factory era. Poka’s mission is to put the power to solve problems, learn and share knowledge in the hands of every factory worker, leading to continuous productivity, quality and safety improvements. Poka is trusted by 12 of the largest manufacturers based on IndustryWeek’s Global 1000 rank, and hundreds of plants across the globe. Since its inception, the company has raised over $17M in financing.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2017, it held CAD 298.5 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com/en, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.
About RBVC

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) is the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, a leading global supplier of technology and services. RBVC invests worldwide in innovative start-up companies at all stages of their development. Its investment activities focus on technology companies working in areas of business of current and future relevance for Bosch, above all, automation and electrification, energy efficiency, enabling technologies, and healthcare systems. RBVC also invests in services and business models that are relevant to the above-mentioned areas of business.

Additional information is available at : http://www.rbvc.com

About iNovia Capital

iNovia is an early stage venture capital firm that invests in category-defining technology startups. Epic companies are forged by exceptionally qualified founders; iNovia supports these remarkable individuals with custom playbooks for attracting talent and scaling efficiently. Together we perfect the craft of building digital platforms and services that transform old industries and push technology frontiers. iNovia manages $500M across three funds and invests across Canada and the United States. For more information, visit : www.inovia.vc

Ted Liu

Ted Liu, M.Sc. (Mining), MBA (Finance), is the Editor of Private Capital Journal and CanadaMetals.ca, and former Editor of Canadian Private Equity. Ted has been passionately tracking Canadian private capital industry since 1992, most recently served as Research Director for The Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA). Ted was the architect of CVCA infobase, and is the architect of sophisticated and advanced CPE Media Private Capital Dealbase.

Ted is President of CPE Media Inc., Canada's independent, trusted and unbiased data provider tracking Canadian VC/PE, private capital industry and public market.