A small Edmonton-based startup now has the resources to grow its business even more after being purchased by a Chicago software company.
ShookIOT was created in 2017 by founders Dave Shook and Leanna Chan, both former Matrikon executives, to provide data management services. On Feb. 8, it was announced Uptake, an industrial artificial intelligence software company, purchased ShookIOT.
Details of the deal are not being disclosed publicly.
Shook said the merger made sense as both companies complemented each other.
“We’re a small startup, we started it with our own money,” he said. “We’ve been running (the company) on cash flow but there’s a window of opportunity to capture the market right now. We need to scale up both on the commercial side and on the execution side. We didn’t have the internal resources to do that. We needed a larger partner in one way or another. The acquisition by Uptake is giving us the muscle that we need to grow.”
The goal of both companies is to provide organizations with up-to-date information on their operations, whether that be in the oil and gas sector or another industry, in order to maintain equipment and facilities.
Shook said the data being provided allows organizations to be more efficient by ensuring everything runs smoothly.
“There’s a lot you can do with that data around optimizing how you run your whole business,” he said. “Uptake, in particular, focuses on optimizing maintenance and equipment reliability so equipment runs as it should with the least downtime and the lowest cost. They need the data that we get in order to do that most effectively.”
While small, Edmonton’s tech sector has been growing over the past few years and was ranked among the top 10 markets to watch by CBRE Limited’s 2020 ranking on U.S. and Canadian cities. The city had more than 25,200 jobs in the tech sector in 2019, a 17 per cent increase over the last five years, according to the ranking.
Shook said both companies remain committed to Edmonton and plan to invest in the region.
“We’re here to stay,” he said. “We’re continuing to hire and we’re continuing to look locally and we’re continuing to operate within here. Uptake didn’t buy us to take us apart, Uptake bought us to integrate us into (them).”
Having started the business only a few years ago, Chan said it has been satisfying to see how far the company has come.
“We’re super excited to be a part of the Uptake family,” she said. “It’s such a great fit between us and our culture. We really feel we are already ‘Uptakers’, that’s sort of the terminology and we love it.”