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Three B.C. tech firms make World Economic Forum’s top 100 list

What happened: World Economic Forum gives the nod to three B.C.
Carbon Engineering's carbon capture plant in Squamish, B.C. | Submitted

What happened: World Economic Forum gives the nod to three B.C. companies

Why it matters: 2020 Technology Pioneers list seen as barometer for top tech companies

A trio of West Coast companies are among the 100 most-important technology pioneers in 2020, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF’s annual list of top innovators include Squamish’s Carbon Engineering, Vancouver’s Trulioo Information Services Inc. and Kelowna’s Two Hat Security.

The nod — the 20th year the WEF has recognized innovative companies — is often used as a barometer for hot tech companies that have the power to address global issues.

Past recipients include Airbnb Inc., Spotify Technology SA and Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR).

Carbon Engineering closed a US$68 million funding round last year as part of its efforts to capture carbon in the atmosphere.

Investors include Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, Chevron Technology Ventures and Murray Edwards, executive chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX: CNQ).

The company has a test plant in Squamish and is ramping up commercialization plans for other industrial plants with the capacity to turn carbon in the atmosphere into useful products.

Carbon Engineering is focused on three market segments: jurisdictions that wish to capture carbon to battle climate change; enhanced oil recovery to deliver carbon-neutral or carbon-negative crude; and the creation of synthetic liquid fuel products by combining hydrogen with Carbon Engineering’s captured carbon.

Trulioo, meanwhile, also had a sizeable raise last year, to the tune of $70 million.

The company specializes in online identity verification and has access to multiple data sources, such as credit bureaus or utility companies, to help verify identities for other organizations' customers.

Kickstarter PBC and PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL) are among those that have tapped its services.

Two Hat employs AI-powered tools to weed out inappropriate language or abusive content, such as pornographic images, on social networks.

“There are few people solving this problem,” CEO Chris Priebe told Business in Vancouver last year.

“We’re not solving the problem for libraries and we’re not solving it for parents. We are business to business. If a site is created and they believe they can only be successful if they upload content and share content with each other, that’s where we exist.”

Two Hat’s client base centres on the gaming industry, such as streaming services that allow viewers to watch others play video games, or movie studios that are producing games for an upcoming release.

Clients include Kabam Inc., one of Vancouver’s largest gaming studios.

A total of six Canadian tech companies made the WEF's top 100 list.

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