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Accelerate Fund doubles down on DrugBank, Userful and PayShepherd in 2022

Posted by Accelerate Fund | December 15, 2022

As an early-stage investor, follow-on investments allow us to double down on some of our most successful portfolio companies as they hit major milestones and seek to scale. 

Here’s a roundup of follow-on investments the Accelerate Fund team was proud to make in 2022:

PayShepherd’s US$3M Seed Round

Launched in 2018, PayShepherd offers a billing management and contract assurance platform to eliminate billing discrepancies and improve relationships in the industrial and manufacturing segments. It ensures contractors are billing accurately for labour, equipment, materials and third-party expenses, as it automates billing review for discrepancies to eliminate mistakes and overspending and ensures contractors get paid quickly and correctly. 

In April 2021, Accelerate Fund III first invested in PayShepherd’s pre-seed round because the team’s deep domain knowledge in heavy industry was proven a growth advantage. 

PayShepherd used that early investment to win more customers and deepen the value provided, helping manufacturing facilities and contractors eliminate overspending, benchmarked in excess of US$1M yearly per major facility. 

This June, Accelerate Fund III was thrilled to participate in PayShephed’s US$3M seed funding round led by Nashville Capital Network with participation from Thin Air Labs.  This new investment equips PayShepherd to further expand product and engineering capabilities in Canada and the US, open up new verticals, and further develop ecosystem integrations.

Here’s to PayShepherd’s continued success with new investors at its next growth phase.

DrugBank’s $9M Seed Round

DrugBank originated out of Dr. David Wishart’s University of Alberta research lab. Co-founders, Michael Wilson and Craig Knox first worked on the knowledge base prototype inside the lab, then decided to combine their skills and turn their early work into a commercial business in 2015.

With a pre-seed investment in DrugBank way back in May 2020, Accelerate Fund II provided growth support to the team as it sought to quadruple the company’s growth rate and enhance its business development efforts and geographic market reach.  

Since then DrugBank has become a well-respected resource and trusted partner in pharmaceutical research. DrugBank supports customers in more than 24 countries including 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies. It has over 12 million global users annually and developers have built over 300 open-source and GitHub projects using DrugBank. 

In April of this year, we were thrilled to support DrugBank’s next phase of growth with a follow-on investment in the company’s $9M seed round led by Brightspark Ventures with participation from Amplitude Ventures and Theodorus Investment Funds.  With this investment, DrugBank will rapidly scale its operations and invest in research and development. They plan to expand their AI-powered technologies to more effectively solve major industry problems.

It’s been fantastic to see DrugBank’s continued growth and momentum and we can’t wait to see what’s ahead as they scale. 

Userful’s $10M Series B

Operating since 2015, Userful’s platform facilitates the centralized management of a company’s visual network. Its technology operates directly on smart displays with no hardware required or an adapter to any legacy display. 

In June 2019, Accelerate Fund II led Userful’s $3M seed funding round to ramp up development for its enterprise AV-over-IP solution.

Userful is currently used by over 1000 companies in more than 100 countries and includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ford Motor Company, Suffolk Construction, Nestlé, and Deloitte. Userful has since expanded from its headquarters in Calgary to open offices in San Ramon, California and Sao Paulo, Brazil.

In April this year, Accelerate Fund II was thrilled to recommit to Userful as part of its $10M Series B Funding round. Its latest capital raise saw participation from BDC Capital’s Industrial, Clean and Energy Technology (ICE) Venture Fund, Yaletown’s Innovation Growth Fund, Birchcliff Partners and other Series A investors. The funds will be used for sales and marketing expansion, new product development, and ecosystem partnerships for its platform.  

Here’s to Userful’s rapid growth and continued success in leading its market. 


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