Sunday Startup Roundup

Sundays seem like as good a time as any to round up what’s been happening in the Canadian startup scene in the last week.

We blogged about getting funded and the sale of R|Mail to NBC Universal. On top of all that, iUpload has decided to move it’s executive and sales operation to the US.

Mark McQueen interviewed Rick Segal to get his thoughts on Friends and Family rounds, Angels, strong teams and more. While that was going on, Suzie at Venture Law Line broke the iUpload news and has been looking back on funds that have come and gone in Canada’s VC scene.

To top it all off, Sean Wise has just published his new book WISE WORDS which is described as

Collecting the best columns from his first years at the Globe, this book cover topics relevant to: founders, funders and those that service the entrepreneuiral ecosystem.

Including: How to create an Elevator Pitch; How to pick a partner; The Art of Business Jui Jitsou; Networking to Survive and 14 questions every investor asks on the first date This tome provides the inside track on funding and growing your business.

Jui Jitsou!? Sounds serious. The last time I took Jui Jitsou, I think I was swinging by a rope and trying to kick a guy holding a big bag or something.

If anyone picks up this book, and wants to write a review, let us know! We’ll be happy to link to it or post it. You can get a preview here.

I am sure there are a lot of things we missed, but we need your help to keep track of all this stuff, so I am attaching a contact form so you can give us the dirt on what you have been hearing. New venture firm in town?, have you met a new startup, or are you starting a new company? Let us know.
Continue reading – Florist Solutions

clearRoot is a Toronto based startup that is building a back-end system for flower shops that allows thousands of independent stores to place orders with each-other as easily as it is for them to fill an order themselves.

clearRoot manages all of the complexities associated with a large Business-to-Business network, and they provide very user friendly front-end software to the flower shops who participate. ClearRoot first started to take shape in May of 2004, but has been growing quickly since April 2006. With over 100 paying customers already (and that’s BEFORE they have even released the software), clearRoot is clearly making sense to their customers.

The clearRoot business model is based on a pay-per-use fee on each order sent through the system. This is similar to Interac, and if it is priced right, this will drive a lot of growth for clearRoot. Because clearRoot was born out of a team with experience running an independent flower shop, as well as their current ethos of building their software and network directly with customers, they have a great chance of building the next big disruptive B2B platform.

Until now, clearRoot has been doing a lot of direct selling of their network, but they have also been growing organically in their vertical. Later on, they are planning to do joint-promotion with other complimentary services in the florist industry.

While growth has been strong, the market for something like clearRoot is also growing and my guess is that is why they are currently looking to raise financing.

clearRoot is currently run by Jeff Richman and their team is built of people experienced with the florist industry, or developers who are working on building their platform out.

Contact Jeff Richman

iUpload moving south

Word comes from Suzie at Venture Law Line that iUpload, an enterprise blogging platform based in Ontario will now be moving south to the US.

iUpload recently took on a large Round A of funding which came in at $7 million from two top tier American Venture Capital funds.

It’s another missed opportunity for Canadian venture money, which could have easily put together the $7 million needed, and could have kept the company in their own backyard.

iUpload competes most directly with California based blogtronix, who are currently trying to raise their own funding round. With marquee customers like McDonalds, who are actively using their platform, iUpload might not have the most visibility of all the players, but they have the most traction in their space.

The most interesting thing about iUpload? For a blogging and Social Media company, they don’t do very much blogging themselves.