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Vancouver’s foot-tech fascination continues as Plantiga closes latest funding round

Customers include teams in NHL, NBA, NFL
Plantiga Technologies Inc.’s chief technology officer, Sean Ross-Ross, demonstrates the company’s sensor-equipped insoles that monitor injury risks for wearers such as athletes  | Rob Kruyt

A Vancouver startup whose foot-focused technology is being tapped by teams in the NHL, NBA and NFL now has a little extra walking-around money.

Plantiga Technologies Inc. revealed last week the close of a funding round to the tune of $1.2 million with investors ranging from pro athletes to the founder of Wind Mobile (now Shaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR)-owned Freedom Mobile).

The Vancouver company is best known for developing small, flat sensor pods for insoles to measure everything from users’ ground contact to the length of their strides. The goal is to facilitate analytics such as tracking the potential for lower-limb injuries.

“Most of the time people are analyzing their patients or athletes literally with their naked eye,” Quin Sandler, the CEO of Plantiga, told BIV last year.

“There’s very few objective measures that they use to drive decision-making, which is why injury/reinjury rates are astoundingly high.”  

The funding round was led by Toronto’s Harlo Equity Partners with participation from Globalive Capital PartnersClio (Themis Solutions Inc.) co-founder Rian Gauvreau, Chicago Bulls power forward Thaddeus Young and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Will Fuller, among others.

The company’s platform took about three years and a few million dollars to develop, and is initially focused on serving practitioners such as physiotherapists, orthopedic surgeons or strength coaches.

“We’re bringing lab-grade analytics to a much broader population and in the process simplifying a lot of those metrics,” Sandler said last year.

“We’ve done a lot around making the system very intuitive with recommendations and insights into how people move to drive better health outcomes, expedite rehabs and then … make sure that people don’t get injured or reinjured.”

To date, more than 60 organization are using the made-in-B.C. technology.

The funding will be used to boost the company’s marketing and sales, and further develop some of its tech offerings.

Plantiga’s raise isn’t the only to garner attention in the B.C. tech scene in recent weeks.

Late last month, SoleSavy Inc. announced it had secured $12.5 million from investors for its paywalled community platform allowing people to engage over Slack to get tips on nabbing in-demand sneakers at retail prices rather than allowing resellers to dominate the market.

That Series A round closed just six months after the company raised US$2 million in a Series A funding round.

With the venture capital in hand, SoleSavy is gearing up to expand its membership as well as offerings with the launch of a sneaker marketplace set for later this year.

“Everybody who comes to the community has 20, 30, 40 pairs of sneakers sitting in a closet. What we are building is a beautiful app that showcases your portfolio,” SoleSavy chief operating officer Adarsh Paillian told BIV at the time.

“Some of these sneakers may be for sale, some may not be for sale. But the idea is for everyone to showcase it, and for the community to be able to buy, sell and trade between each other.”

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