Despite difficult times for the makers of the BlackBerry, Research in Motion, other tech companies based in Waterloo are going strong. Waterloo startup Desire2Learn has just raised $80 million in funding through venture capital in order to expand their already profitable business further. Desire2Learn is an company specializing in online education tools to teachers and students in an effort to improve the educational experience inside classrooms. The funding was led by New Enterprise Associates Inc., which will help Desire2Learn’s plans to hire at least 150 people by the end of the year.
With the money raised, Desire2Learn is also planning to focus on research and marketing to expand the company.
Desire2Learn’s CEO and Founder, John Baker, stated, “We didn’t raise the money because we needed it but because we wanted to accelerate our growth. We were a profitable high-growth company prior, and we’re hoping to remain a profitable high-growth company going forward.”
While typically in the shadow of RIM, Canada’s second largest tech company OpenText has been growing its business software business. Being a veteran in the field, it employs over 4,500 workers internationally. They have reported a 17% increase in revenue for the last fiscal year for a total of $1.21 billion. While much less than RIM’s yearly revenue, OpenText continues to expand its business. This provides jobs not only in Waterloo, but around the world as well.
These successes in RIM’s hometown show promise for a region considered to be Canada’s Silicon Valley without the crucial dominance of RIM.