UMANX announces the completion of a $1.1 million financing round
Now supported by Desjardins Capital, the Québec City start-up intends
to define the next generation of home alarm systems
Québec City, March 28, 2018 - With the completion of a $1.1 million financing round, UMANX can now complete the development of its home monitoring robot and start commercializing it in Canada and abroad. The residential market targeted by UMANX represents 350 million homes in America and Europe.
This announcement was made by Dragan Tubić, UMANX's founder and President, recognized as an expert in robotics and digital vision in Canada. UMANX was also selected for the entrepreneur-in-residence program at the Québec City-based National Optics Institute (INO) and is currently hosted in INO's incubator program. INO is actually developing an innovative 360°sensor which will allow robots to better see and understand the environment in which they are operating.
Desjardins Capital led this financing round supported by two other partners, namely OPTEL Group and Peter Morand. OPTEL describes itself as the world's largest provider of traceability systems while Mr. Morand is among other things the former President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
UMANX develops cutting-edge technologies for mobile and autonomous robots. Its first product will be a small remote monitoring robot equipped with a number of sensors and artificial intelligence that can detect accidents or emergency situations early and also validate them to eliminate false alarms for first responders. This robot will not require any installation. Once unpacked and charged using its wireless terminal, the robot will automatically draw up a 3D map of the residence and its intelligence will allow it to learn quickly to manage exceptions that should trigger an alarm. It will also be able to detect intrusions, fires, and water or heating oil leaks. It will be able to detect spikes in temperature in walls, which can indicate the start of an electric failure before a fire breaks out. Last, the robot will be able to detect the presence of an unconscious person, call for help and provide video images in real time.
"INO is very proud to have backed Mr. Tubić's project from the beginning and supported UMANX through its entire start-up phase," noted Alain Chandonnet, INO's CEO. "This is a fine example of synergy bringing together an entrepreneur's vision and the technical know-how of an advanced institute of technology such as INO, for the economic and social benefit of Québec."
"The decision of Desjardins Capital, OPTEL Group and Peter Morand to become investors marks a turning point in UMANX's ambition to revolutionize robotic monitoring systems tailored to residences," rejoiced Dragan Tubić, UMANX's founder and President. "These three partners are taking over from the Québec City authorities and Mayor Régis Labeaume who supported us from the beginning. I'm particularly grateful to the National Research Council Canada for its substantial financial contribution and its advisory services at the company start-up stage. I also thank Canada Economic Development for their invaluable financial support."
"We were impressed by the innovativeness of UMANX's technology and its founder's vision to be a leader in robotics in Canada and abroad," remarked Luc Ménard, Chief Operating Officer, Desjardins Capital, a component of Desjardins Group specialized in venture capital and development capital. "We're proud to invest in this company, a leader in the use of artificial intelligence and we believe that the investments made by OPTEL and Mr. Morand will generate synergies and accelerate the commercialization of the new generation residential robot designed by Mr. Tubić and his team."
"OPTEL is proud to support Dragan Tubić, an ambitious innovator who has a track record of successfully meeting enormous challenges," stated Louis Roy, President, OPTEL Group. "UMANX's project will revolutionize our society by bringing technology and humans closer together, and will make our world safer and more sustainable."
"I've been following Mr. Tubić's work since he won the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's award for the best doctoral thesis in 2006," commented Peter Morand. "He's a scientist and an exceptional entrepreneur who understands what it takes to launch technological products in highly competitive consumer markets. I'm confident that Mr. Tubić and his team will successfully follow through on their business plan, and that's what motivated me to co-invest with OPTEL and Desjardins Capital in this project."
Sophie D'Amours, rector of Université Laval added, "Coalition Force 4.0, of which I'm the President, is excited to see UMANX take off and congratulates Dragan Tubić, one of our founding members, and the investors for demonstrating their trust in him. The Québec City area has a lot to offer to advanced and collaborative robotics. We, like the business community, are working to stimulate the research and innovation ecosystem to ensure an enabling environment for this new business sector."
UMANX develops technologies in the field of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, two fast growing areas that will change our lives. UMANX products are aimed primarily at residential consumers and help improve their quality of life by offering heightened security, expanded damage prevention and enhanced personal support, all at competitive prices.
About Desjardins Capital
Nearly 45 years strong, Desjardins Capital (previously Desjardins Venture Capital) has a mission to value, support and nurture the best of Quebec entrepreneurship. With assets under management of C$2 billion, Desjardins Capital helps contribute to the longevity of more than 450 companies, cooperatives and funds in various sectors from across Quebec. In addition to helping to create and maintain more than 67,000 jobs, this subsidiary of Desjardins Group offers business owners access to a large business network and supports their business growth. For more information, visit our website or our LinkedIn page.
About OPTEL GROUP
Now a Certified B Corporation, OPTEL is a leading multinational provider of traceability systems, and its mission is to use its innovative technologies to create a better world. The company's renowned solutions ensure the quality of consumer health products and help stop counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and medical devices throughout the world. OPTEL is also adapting its technologies to create efficiencies in various other sectors ─ from health-related industries to smart manufacturing and more, all can benefit from global traceability. OPTEL's expertise will allow diverse industries to measure, inspect, control and track a variety of elements to improve quality and make better use of resources. For more information, visit www.optelgroup.com.
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