Intact Ventures led a strategic investment in Alert Labs, which developers of connected home security technology.
Intact Ventures—the venture arm of Intact Financial Corporation, a provider of property and casualty insurance—was not the only participant in the round. BDC Capital, Garage Capital, and Hedgewood Capital also contributed, as did “several angel and private investors,” according to the Ontario-based startup.
Alert Labs says the capital will go toward accelerating marketing activities and scaling business operations.
“This represents Intact Ventures’ first investment in Canada,” says Karim Hirji, Senior Vice President, Intact Ventures. “We appreciate the importance of providing homeowners and businesses with innovative solutions that are easy to use, cost effective and reliable.”
In 2015, Canadian insurance companies spent approximately $2.6 billion repairing homes due to water damage. In the next 5 years, it’s expected that North American insurers will spend over $100 billion to repair water damage in customers’ homes. Alert Labs aims to help the insurance industry reduce preventable expenditures.
Alert Labs’ Flowie water sensor and Floodie companion sensor work together to provide minute-by-minute water use information, which allows the company’s analytics engine to identify leaks from the municipal water supply, such as a malfunctioning furnace humidifier, and to share insight into water conservation opportunities. Homeowners receive alerts for floods, leaks, water use, and power outages, and because the sensors are cellular-connected with a built-in battery backup, they don’t rely on wifi, meaning they will work during storms and outages.
“It is inspiring to have Canada’s leading insurance company believe in our vision and goals, and we’re grateful for the financial support of our investors,” says George Tsintzouras, CEO of Alert Labs. “Our sensors are as easy to install as a watch or a Fitbit—everyone can do it with no tools or professional installers.”
Alert Labs last year graduated from Communitech Rev, an accelerator based in Ontario, where they won first place during the final Demo Day.