🏙️ Watchlist: 10 Vancouver startups set to rocket in 2024

Whether you’re an investor, jobseeker, or local tech enthusiast, find out who to have your eye on in the coming year.

Startups are the backbone of Vancouver’s innovation economy, and the city has plenty to brag about. Unlike other regions or cities which are known for producing one particular kind of technology, the lower mainland boasts developments in more industries than we can count.

With inflation falling and the global economy picking up as we move into 2024, things are looking up for startups — and none more so than for these 10, which are our top picks of companies to watch this year.

Hiive

Hiive offers a marketplace for buyers and sellers of shares in private and pre-IPO venture-backed companies. The trading platform allows qualified investors to place an order to buy or sell shares of late-stage companies directly from another party, without the need for a live broker. 

The originally bootstrapped business is looking to bring transparency and efficiency to the private secondary market and, since officially launching its platform in summer 2022, has already picked up steam. In October it announced its first institutional capital raise to the tune of CAD $5.7 million, helping the company to massively increase its headcount. By Hiive’s own figures, the marketplace has increased both its rate and volume of transaction completion around six times over the past year, leading to its current valuation of approximately CAD $105 million (USD $77 million). 

Blanka

Blanka, which lets wannabe beauty entrepreneurs create their own branded cosmetics line in under five minutes, spent the last 12 months picking up prizes in the province’s most high-profile contests. The outfit won the Company of the Year – Startup award at BC Tech’s Technology Impact Awards, beating out VoxCell BioInnovation and WiiBid in a live pitch finale. The business also scooped Innovate BC’s $35,000 Third Place Prize in the New Ventures BC competition this year.

In August, Blanka raised a $2 million seed round, which will help it access a chunk of the $430 billion beauty market. The investment came after steady growth for the startup, which it says now has thousands of brands subscribed to its platform, fuelled by organic marketing and integrations with partners like Shopify. 

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