mcrock 5 may 20 2020 mcrock leads 10m financing in tt

McRock Leads $10 Million Financing for AI-Driven Document Intelligence Company ThoughtTrace

Toronto, Ontario–(May 20, 2020) – McRock Fund II LP, the latest Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)  venture capital fund managed by McRock Capital, announced today that it has led the US$10 million  financing in Texas-based ThoughtTrace, Inc. The round included investments from Chevron Technology  Ventures and existing investor Altira Group. Scott MacDonald, Co-founder & Managing Partner from  McRock has joined ThoughtTrace’s Board of Directors. 

ThoughtTrace’s AI-powered Document Intelligence platform enables organizations to uncover valuable  information buried in contracts and documents in a fraction of the time and cost it would take using  traditional review methods. In addition to massive productivity gains, companies that have harnessed this  power have drastically reduced OPEX, minimized corporate risk, and even discovered new opportunities  worth millions to the bottom line. 

“We are extraordinarily excited to have both McRock and Chevron join the team. McRock brings a great  background in the industrial space, which we see as a great fit. In the case of Chevron, they went from  being a new customer in 2019 to an investor in 2020.,” said Nick Vandivere, ThoughtTrace CEO. “With the  new capital raise, ThoughtTrace will accelerate its investment in creating AI with unparalleled speed and  accuracy, grow strategic partnerships and platform integrations, and add to its existing team of talented  professionals, all of which will bring further value to the growing ThoughtTrace customer-base.”

“As the digital strategy of industrial companies becomes even more important in the current market  climate, being able to use AI software to discover critical information in thousands of unstructured text  documents quickly and cost effectively is transformational,” said Scott MacDonald, Co-founder of McRock  Capital. “ThoughtTrace allows a company to expand the data analytics from a physical asset to the  documentation that governs that asset such as a Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy”. 

Since the 2017 initial product release serving the domestic energy sector, ThoughtTrace has seen  aggressive growth year-over-year through expanding energy offerings as well as moving into new vertical  markets. Today, the ThoughtTrace technology is trained by subject-matter-experts to serve a wide array  of industries including manufacturing, real estate, technology, legal, telecommunications, oil and gas, and  renewable energy. 

About ThoughtTrace – ThoughtTrace creates the only industry-specific Document Intelligence and  Contract Analytics platform that delivers value on day one with minimal training and setup. Leveraging  AI/ML as a complement to human expertise, the ThoughtTrace platform identifies critical obligations in  contracts exponentially faster and with greater accuracy than traditional methods. The ThoughtTrace  platform reads, organizes, and surfaces data that gives users operational agility, actionable insights, and  decision-making superpowers.  

Visit www.thoughttrace.com or follow on twitter @ThoughtTrace  

About McRock Capital – McRock is the first dedicated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) venture capital  fund manager focused on the intersection of sensors and software in large industrial markets and smart  cities. The McRock team has a unique background of building high-growth venture-backed IIoT companies  while also having worked in the power, water, oil and gas industries. McRock is backed by several leading  institutional investors and global corporations including Cisco Systems, Caterpillar, Shell, Mitsubishi and  Électricité de France (EDF). 

Visit www.mcrockcapital.com and follow on Twitter @McRockCapital

mcrock 6. feb 14 2020 top 5 trends in the iiot

Top 5 Trends in the Industrial IoT

Who owns the ‘T’ of the Aye Aye Oh Tee!

The new year’s got McRock Capital’s Research Squad cracking its knuckles, ready to crystal ball the biggest trends that could influence the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in 2020.
 
Now that the hoopla around IoT has settled, a lot of companies have started treating it as less of a buzzword and more of a way to accelerate their growth trajectory. Consequently, we’ve identified five trends we think will dominate the industry this year, transforming the digital landscape as we know it.

IoT and ClimateTech—Mother Earth is on FIRE

Mother Earth is heating up in an unprecedented way; it’s DEFCON 1, people!

As more countries start to take the threat seriously and strive towards sustainability, green technology is expected to take the lead in reducing waste and energy consumption while facilitating effective resource utilization. However, the high cost of implementation and dearth of awareness can impede the growth of the green technology and sustainability market. To combat this, we expect Industrial IoT to play a major role, since its entire premise is based on improving productivity, reducing uncertainty and providing greater visibility to all stakeholders.
 
Several Industrial IoT solutions have the potential to optimize processes, streamline operations, reduce emissions and create a positive impact on the environment. Take agriculture for instance. By employing ground humidity sensors and leveraging environmental data, farmers can accurately gauge the amount of water required to irrigate their land, minimize the use of exorbitant chemical products and increase crop output.
 
In a similar vein, electricity demand for a city or an industrial complex can be anticipated so that requisite energy is delivered to less populated areas. Even waste management is being revolutionized, thanks to cyberphysical systems. For example, Songdo, a smart city in South Korea, has integrated IoT and sensors to bolster its waste management system. In fact, the city aims to recycle 76% of its waste by 2020
 
We think corporations, governments, and tech companies are well on their way to partnering like never before to play their part in making a difference. Solutions addressing electrification in mobility, adaptive traffic control to reduce emissions in megacities, and waste management will gain unprecedented attention in 2020.

Predictive Maintenance #FTW—I Appeared, I Predicted, I Solved

With predictive maintenance and Industrial IoT working in tandem, disparate systems and assets can connect, capture, identify, share, analyse and act upon data that require attention.
 

We crafted the body of the IoT over the past decade, now we are building its mind. 

Predictive maintenance, which employs condition-monitoring equipment to evaluate performance in real-time, is not a new concept. However, the key to optimizing it is IoT. With predictive maintenance and Industrial IoT working in tandem, disparate systems and assets can connect, capture, identify, share, analyze and act upon data that require attention. 
 
At the risk of sounding poetic, predictive maintenance is the utopia of asset optimization—a beautiful dream that all operators and CxOs in the industrial space fantasize about. 
 
Since the inception of McRock Capital in 2012, we have tracked the number of sensors that have been shipped. Their Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) has finally come down from its previous triple-digit growth to 92%. Moreover, we have also seen machine-to-machine (M2M) communication soar. To us, this signifies that industrial machines and devices are now equipped with sensors and can communicate with the web by themselves.

Thanks to a surge in predictive maintenance, we can now start making sense of data using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models. Rest assured, though, machine whisperers (aka plant operators) are not being replaced, just augmented, as predictive maintenance solutions will continue to evolve and become part of the overall maintenance workflow.
 
In fact, with better quality of data and advanced AI and ML models, the workflow will become semi-supervised, and inevitably, unsupervised. In simple terms, we won’t have to pore through data as much as we have in the past. The software will figure it out by itself. Predictions will become much more accurate, insightful and faster than we have ever experienced.

The Future is 5G–Mo’ G’s, not Emojis😀😃😄😁😆😅😂🤣😊😇🙃

5G, in congruence with IoT, is already powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution; much like steam, electricity, and silicon powered the previous three.

There’s a storm coming, Mr Wayne. It’s called 5G.

The ubiquitous smartphone and the advent of 4G have already metamorphosed the way we communicate. With 5G, we are on the threshold of the next generation of mobile communication. 5G, in congruence with IoT, is already powering the Fourth Industrial Revolution; much like steam, electricity, and silicon powered the previous three. This revolution is blurring the divide among the physical, biological and digital worlds that comprise AI, 3D printing, genetic engineering, and varied technologies. With enhanced capacity and accelerated response time, 5G is a solid foundation for this transformation.
 
We predict that this year, the private adoption of 5G will accelerate and take over its public deployment, yet have more machines as its customers than humans. Billions of devices will come to life, connect and exchange data at speeds we’ve never experienced. The biggest reason 5G networks will demand AI to do so is that they’re much more complex than previous-generation networks. In November 2019, multinational networking and telecommunications giant Ericsson estimated that by the end of 2025, 5G will have 2.6 billion subscriptions covering up to 65% of the world’s population. It went on to state that the number of cellular IoT connections will reach 5 billion worldwide, up from 1.3 billion then. If that’s the number of connections humans will use, think of the number machines will. Unimpressed? What if we tell you that there are about 38.5 billion connected IoT devices worldwide as compared to 9.5 billion mobile phones right now?
 
Let that sink in. Not only will the smart brick in your hand connect to 5G, but so will everything from autonomous vehicles and robots to industrial pumps. Industrial and urban infrastructure will enable the 5G network and influence the rollout of Automated Guided Vehicles, real-time edge analytics for more secure operations, video surveillance, etc.

Industrial Robotics will Transcend the Everyday–Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto

Industrial robots are transcending the world of manufacturing and supply chain/logistics because they have proven their worth in addressing the labour shortage and undertaking perilous tasks.

The robots are coming and the industrial jobs they are doing may surprise you!

Industrial robotics has remarkably changed in the past few decades. Customarily, robots are tailored for a certain task at hand, and industrial robots have revolutionized the manufacturing industry because they offer several bottom-line benefits. At the top of this list is efficiency. The robots synthesize speed and uptime to bring about higher production capability at reduced costs.
 
Moreover, industrial robots, when programmed accurately, are scalable—vastly improving the consistency of production, the quality of the product, and helping reduce waste. They also deliver excellent returns on investment (ROI) despite the high initial cost.
 
These robots are now transcending the world of manufacturing and supply chain/logistics because they have proven their worth in addressing the labour shortage and undertaking perilous tasks. However, in emerging markets, where robots have not yet made a disruptive impact, robotics companies can still get by with single-point solutions.
 
Either way, industrial robots will eat away at cobots in conventional industries. New sensors that can be applied to faster industrial robots will make them smarter, reliable and more cost-efficient. A word of warning to our little cobot friends: resistance is futile. 

Edge Computing will Bring the World Closer–The Scorpions got it right… We are Walking on the Edge

Self-driving cars are an excellent example of edge computing as Tesla’s Model X autopilot controls the distance from the lead car and centres the vehicle in the lane.

Who’d a thunk that the 80s anthem will be so relevant in the industrial context by 2020? 

For our intents and purposes, ‘edge’ refers to literal geographic distribution. So edge computing is just computing that takes place at or near the data’s point of origin, rather than in the cloud. But fear not, the cloud is not going away any time soon; in fact, it is coming closer to you by transforming the way data from millions of devices around the world are processed. The dramatic growth of IoT and a slew of new apps needing real-time computing power is powering edge-computing systems.
 
Edge computing has gained momentum, as evidenced by the recent acquisition of the edge AI startup, Xnor, by Apple. Despite the current shift from centralised/cloud to edge architecture, the two share a symbiotic relationship. The faster network of today (to which 5G is a contributor) facilitates edge-computing systems to support real-time applications.
 
As we process and compute more data in real-time, edge computing will become more pervasive in the industrial setup and enable the execution of most mission-critical processes and functions, including self-driving cars and video analytics.
 
So, here we are, on the Edge with our 5Gs and Predictions. Mother Earth, forgive us. Mr Roboto, help us. Time to roll up our sleeves and dedicate 2020 to individuals and organizations that have the courage to do their part and change the world.
 
Author: McRock Research Squad

mcrock jan 28 2020 mcrock doubles down in miovision

McRock Doubles Down in Miovision $120 Million Latest Funding Round

Toronto, Ontario–(January 28, 2020) – McRock iNFund LP, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) venture  capital fund managed by McRock Capital, announced today that it has doubled its investment in Miovision  through the most recent $120 million financing round led by Telus Ventures. The Kitchener-based  company uses computer vision, artificial intelligence and advanced modelling to help cities modernize  their approach to traffic management. 

McRock initially led a $15 million financing in 2018, which was supported by a syndicate of investors  including McRock’s Limited Partners HarbourVest and BDC Capital. McRock Co-founder and Managing  Partner Whitney Rockley continues to serve on the Miovision Board of Directors. 

“This funding round will help Miovision realize its goal of becoming the platform by which cities  everywhere measure, manage and optimize traffic,” said Miovision co-founder and CEO Kurtis McBride.  “I’m proud that our investors – including a world-leading communications company like TELUS – are as  excited about our vision as we are and want to be a part of it.” 

“Miovision is experiencing tremendous growth as its products have now processed more than 23 million  hours of video and 9 billion vehicles”, said Whitney Rockley, Co-founder and Managing Partner at McRock Capital. “The power of Miovision’s machine visioning and AI software to reduce traffic congestion, reduce  vehicle emissions, improve traffic safety and create more livable cities is revolutionary”.

About Miovision – Miovision is helping build tomorrow’s smart cities by transforming the way traffic  networks are managed today. Backed by the world’s most advanced traffic AI, Miovision’s innovations in  traffic planning and operations have made it possible for cities to improve the transportation experience  for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians since 2005. With offices in Kitchener, Canada and Cologne, Germany,  Miovision serves over 17,000 municipalities worldwide. 

Visit www.mivision.com or follow on twitter @Miovision  

About McRock Capital – McRock is the first dedicated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) venture capital  fund manager focused on the intersection of sensors and software in large industrial markets and smart  cities. The McRock team has a unique background of building high-growth venture-backed IIoT companies  while also having worked in the power, water, oil and gas industries. McRock is backed by several leading  institutional investors and global corporations including Cisco Systems, Caterpillar, Shell, Mitsubishi and  Électricité de France (EDF). 

Visit www.mcrock capital.com and follow on Twitter @McRockCapital

mcrock dec 19 2019 - mcrock leads us 17m for skyspecs

McRock Leads US$ 17 Million Series C Financing for SkySpecs

Toronto, Ontario–(December 20, 2019) – McRock iNFund LP, an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)  venture capital fund managed by McRock Capital, announced today that it has led a US$ 17 million  Series C financing round in Michigan-based SkySpecs, a wind energy asset automation and predictive  analytics provider. Other new investors in the round included Equinor Energy Ventures, and Evergy  Ventures, the non-regulated investment affiliate of Evergy, the parent company of Kansas City Power &  Light Company (KCP&L) and Westar Energy, alongside participation by existing investors including  Statkraft Ventures, UL and Venture Investors.  

SkySpecs has earned a leading position in the North American and European markets, reaching a landmark 30,000 fully autonomous inspections for the largest global wind energy owners. The company  uses AI, machine learning, robotics, and software to optimize operations & maintenance for the wind  energy industry in order to enable better decision making about repairs and proactive planning. The mission is to continue driving change in the renewable energy sector such that technology and  automation enable higher levels of global accessibility. 

“Our mission at SkySpecs has always been to provide the most comprehensive technological solutions  to optimize operations and maintenance in the wind energy industry.” said Danny Ellis, co-founder and  CEO at SkySpecs. “After interacting with McRock through their Industrial IoT Symposium, experiencing  their vast corporate relationships, and sharing a vision for the future of renewable energy, we could not  be more pleased to welcome them as a partner and investor. This investment is a reflection of our  commitment to both our customers and the renewable energy sector. We believe that technological  solutions – AI, machine learning, and robotics – will drive up efficiencies and ultimately make wind energy  ubiquitous. We are proud to be a part of this change” 

“As a leader in the wind energy technology space, the SkySpecs team presented a unique mix of skills  across software analytics and autonomous robotic technology”, said Scott MacDonald, Co-founder and  Managing Partner at McRock Capital. “SkySpecs is pushing the frontier of data driven decision making 

to reinvent the way turbines are kept at peak performance using data imaging and software to  streamline operations and maintenance”. 

As part of this financing, Scott MacDonald, Co-founder of McRock Capital, will join SkySpecs’ Board of  Directors and Siddharth Srivastava, VP at McRock Capital, will join as Board Observer.  

About SkySpecs – SkySpecs automates operations and maintenance of the wind energy assets through  robotics, predictive analytics, and industry expertise to help decrease unplanned downtime and increase  total production potential. The SkySpecs team combines expertise across autonomous robotics, data  science, wind turbine blade expertise, web application development, and global operations to deliver an  industry-leading solution. SkySpecs has offices in Ann Arbor, MI and Amsterdam, Netherlands and  currently operates in 19 countries on 5 continents.  

Visit https://skyspecs.com or follow on twitter @skyspecs 

About McRock Capital – McRock is the first dedicated Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) venture  capital fund manager focused on the intersection of sensors and software in large industrial markets.  The McRock team has a unique background of building high-growth venture-backed IIoT companies  combined with domain expertise in the power, water, oil and gas industries. McRock is backed by several  leading institutional investors as well as Cisco Systems, Caterpillar, Shell and Électricité de France (EDF). 

Visit www.mcrock capital.com and follow on Twitter @McRockCapital

mcrock sep 9 2019 mcrock launches $100m fund pic square

McRock Launches $100 Million Industrial IoT VC Fund with Global Investors

Toronto, Ontario–(September 9, 2019) – McRock Capital has held an initial closing on its second venture  capital fund, McRock Fund II LP, dedicated to investing in the global trend around the Industrial Internet  of Things (IoT). The new fund has reached over 80% of its targeted $100 million. Investors include Cisco  Investments, Shell and other significant corporate and institutional investors including BDC Capital, Export  Development Canada, Alberta Enterprise Corporation (AEC), and HarbourVest.  

McRock is a thought leader in the Industrial IoT sector and has emerged as one of the most experienced investors financing innovative private companies driving the digital transformation. The new fund will  invest in high-growth companies across Canada, the US, and Europe that are combining next generation  data analytics through artificial intelligence (AI) with the growing data from field devices, machines and 

equipment in industrial and urban environments.  

“We are at the beginning of the digital transformation in every industrial sector and urban environment  around the globe,” said Scott MacDonald, Co-founder and Managing Partner of McRock Capital. “McRock  Fund II provides us with significant investment capital and strategic corporate relationships to help build  the next generation of high-growth tech companies.” 

“Our leadership position continues to be advanced by the caliber of the corporations and institutional  investors we have attracted to McRock and Canada,” said Whitney Rockley, Co-founder and Managing  Partner of McRock Capital. “We also credit our diversity & inclusion initiatives within our own venture  capital firm, and the portfolio of companies we finance, for our strong financial performance.”

“Digitalisation is transforming Shell and we are looking at a range of options to drive future growth in our  marketing businesses,” said Saskia Mureau, Chief Digital Officer, Shell Global Commercial. “In partnership  with McRock Capital, we are seeking out new business models and technologies that have strong  disruptive qualities and that can improve the experience of industrial customers.” 

“In addition to offering a dedicated IoT and digital transformation solutions portfolio, Cisco actively  deploys capital and collaborates with organizations to drive IoT innovation globally. We have been  working closely with McRock since 2014 and are thrilled to continue this strategic relationship,” stated  Amit Chaturvedy, Head of IoT and Enterprise Networking at Cisco Investments.  

“McRock Fund II is building off the success of McRock’s inaugural fund, which is highly differentiated and  supports an emerging cluster of technology strength in Canada,” stated Alison Nankivell, VP of Funds and  Global Scaling at BDC Capital. “We are proud to be a returning institutional investor given their impressive  leadership position not only in their sector but in backing equally diverse and inclusive companies. We  look forward to finding more opportunities to coinvest with the McRock team in diversity focused  Canadian Industrial IoT businesses”. 

“Industrial IoT companies command a global stage, which makes our partnership with McRock a great  opportunity to help Canadian exporters succeed internationally,” said Dan Mancuso, SVP Financing &  Investments at EDC. “McRock is also a leader and champion for diversity and inclusion, which aligns well  with the objectives of EDC’s Women-in-Trade Program. 

“The McRock team has significant Industrial IoT expertise and a track record of building successful high growth companies, specifically in Canada,” said Kristina Williams, CEO of Alberta Enterprise Corporation.  “We see this as a strategic investment for AEC that will facilitate the growth of successful Industrial IoT  companies in the province of Alberta, both to strengthen our foundational industries of agriculture, oil  and gas, and also taking advantage of Alberta’s strength in machine learning and artificial intelligence.”  

“The Industrial IoT sector has great potential for growth as machine learning and AI enter the next phase  of implementation,” said Senia Rapisarda, Managing Director, HarbourVest Partners. “The Fourth  Industrial Revolution is already underway as everyone from corporations to municipalities look to improve  connectivity and efficiency, and McRock’s track record in this space made Fund II an attractive investment  opportunity.” 

About Shell  

Shell is an international energy company with expertise in the exploration, production, refining and  marketing of oil and natural gas, and the manufacturing and marketing of chemicals. For more  information, visit www.shell.com 

About BDC Capital 

BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC—Canada’s only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs.  With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most  innovative firms. It offers a full spectrum of risk capital, from seed investments to transition capital,  supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who wish to scale their businesses into global champions. For more  information, visit bdc.ca/capital

About EDC 

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian  companies of all sizes succeed on the world stage. As international risk experts, we equip Canadian  companies with the tools they need – the trade knowledge, financing solutions, equity, insurance, and  connections – to grow their business with confidence. Underlying all our support is a commitment to  sustainable and responsible business. For more information, visit www.edc.ca 

About Alberta Enterprise Corporation 

Alberta Enterprise Corporation promotes the development of Alberta’s venture capital industry by  investing in venture capital funds that finance early-stage technology companies. Since our inception we  have committed $183 million for investment to 17 VC funds, covering a diverse range of forward-looking  industries including information technology, industrial technology, and life sciences. Our funds and their  partners have invested more than $496 million into Alberta technology companies. For more information,  visit www.alberta-enterprise.ca 

About HarbourVest Partners  

HarbourVest is an independent, global private markets investment specialist with 36 years of experience  and more than $64 billion in assets under management, as of June 30, 2019. The Firm’s powerful global  platform offers clients investment opportunities through primary fund investments, secondary  investments, and direct co-investments in commingled funds or separately managed accounts.  HarbourVest has more than 500 employees, including more than 125 investment professionals across  Asia, Europe, and the Americas. This global team has committed more than $37 billion to newly-formed  funds, completed over $21 billion in secondary purchases, and invested over $11 billion directly in  operating companies. Partnering with HarbourVest, clients have access to customized solutions,  longstanding relationships, actionable insights, and proven results. For more information, visit  www.harbourvest.com  

About McRock Capital 

McRock is an investment firm co-founded by venture capital veterans Scott MacDonald and Whitney  Rockley and invests exclusively in Industrial IoT companies across Canada, the US, and Europe. The  Industrial IoT is about the intersection of sensors and software in large industrial markets. For more  information, visit www.mcrockcapital.com. Follow McRock Capital on Twitter @McRockCapital 

Media: 

Scott MacDonald 

McRock Capital  

647 478 9337 ext 1 

scott@mcrockcapital.com