The Government of Canada is committed to building Canada as a global centre of innovation; one that focuses on strengthening the middle class by creating jobs, driving growth across all industries and improving the lives of all Canadians. To this end, it is providing $3.34 million to Vendasta Technologies Inc. to advance digital marketing technology.
This support, provided through Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, will allow Vendasta to commercialize a fully-integrated cloud marketplace, or, online storefront. The project is expected to create 25 high-quality positions, as well as an additional 26 skilled jobs, most of which will be located in Saskatoon.
Previously, Vendasta offered reputation management and social marketing software applications for over 550 clients, or partners, as they are known through the online Partner Centre platform. These partners are marketing agencies or media organizations who rebrand Vendasta’s products under their own names to sell to their customers. Those customers are known as local small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Now, through the Government of Canada’s investment, using cloud marketplace technology, Vendasta will offer additional software applications from outside third-party developers. It can now provide its partners with a greater number of software applications for a wider range of “business solutions” tools, such as custom websites, Facebook advertising, e-commerce, and billing infrastructure. This “one-stop shopping” platform means its partners can create specific bundles of business solutions to help their SMB customers, without having to search out the developers or the software themselves.
Through this project, Vendasta has also improved the market intelligence that it can provide to its partners to help them find new customers, or better target business solutions for existing customers.
The integrated cloud marketplace platform, with its new range of capabilities, will provide Vendasta’s partners with greater opportunities for growth, and allow them to offer more than just advertising services to SMBs.
Vendasta was founded in Saskatoon in 2008, and employs more than 200 people. Its platform helps digital agencies and media companies sell digital marketing solutions to local businesses. In 2016, Vendasta was ranked 49th in on Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Fast 50 list, 42nd on PROFIT 500’s 2016 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies, and named as a finalist for the 2016 Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership Exporter of the Year award.
The Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative aims to bridge the gap identified in pre-commercialization funding for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), assisting them in the process of bringing their ideas to market-ready products, processes, and services.
Announced in October 2013, WINN will invest $100 million over 5 years in the form of repayable contributions to for-profit SMEs based in Western Canada. With federal support, all projects aim to be on the market within three years.