The Proof will soon be in the Daylight.
On Jan. 25, Yukon start-up Proof Data Technology and Daylight Automation Inc. of Toronto announced an agreement that will see Daylight purchase Proof.
“It’s really exciting,” Proof CEO Ben Sanders said in an interview. As far as he knows, Proof may be the first Yukon tech startup to be founded here and subsequently sold.
“I think that’s a milestone,” he said.
While the Yukon company is being sold, all 10 staff were offered positions with Daylight. Seven opted to take the positions while continuing to work in the territory.
Daylight, Sanders said, is excited to have a Yukon office.
“We’re staying put,” he commented.
Proof was co-founded by Sanders and Wesley George, launching in 2017 with a focus on moving government away from paper to a central platform specifically designed for government. Since then, the company has worked with the Yukon government, federal government, First Nations, provinces and municipalities across the country, winning a number of awards for its work, including the Innovator of the Year Award from Startup Canada in 2019.
Sanders said much of Proof’s success came thanks to governments here being willing to try new things and work with Proof. That led to Proof working with other levels of governments outside of the territory as it continued to grow.
“That was really key,” Sanders said.
In its work, Daylight provides an automation platform to help improve efficiency, automate data-intensive workflows and eliminate paper-based processes.
The relationship between Proof and Daylight began in 2020 with the two tech companies working together behind the scenes to streamline the Yukon govermnent’s digitization of forms.
Information contained in documents travellers filled out when landing at an airport or crossing a border into the Yukon was digitized and helped ensure the territory remained safe. Cabinet used information from those systems when determining what health regulations would be in place.
That work is one of things Sanders said he’s most proud of to come from Proof over the last five years, though he pointed out it was not done by Proof alone.
“We were part of it,” he said.
Since then, Proof and Daylight have continued to work together on more initiatives.
“It became a natural fit,” Sanders said.
Under the sale agreeement, when Proof’s existing contracts end on March 31, the company will rebrand as Daylight Automation Inc.
Both Sanders and George are taking on new roles at Daylight with Sanders serving as vice-president of business development and George as vice-president of solutions engineering.
“Proof was one of Daylight’s first partners and has continued to maintain a strong, long-term partnership given the similarities in talent, knowledge, and expertise in the industry,” Sanders said.
George also noted the benefits of Proof joining Daylight.
“We are delighted to join the Daylight team and further our common goal to quickly deliver accessible data collection solutions for both internal and external processes across multiple lines of business, all while protecting privacy and respecting ownership of data,” he said.
The announcement stated Sanders, who also co-founded Clearco (formerly Clearbanc) in 2015, “brings a wealth of knowledge with start-up and growth-stage organizations and will help Daylight forge partnerships with companies across all verticals.”
Sanders said he’s excited to move into his new role, noting that Daylight is growing quickly and he’s pleased to be part of that as it works to expand into other markets.
“There’s just so much opportunity,” he said.
George, a software architect and computer security specialist, has led teams at some of Canada’s top start-ups, it’s noted. In his new role, he will lead the team of solution engineers at Daylight and be responsible for championing expansion features on the Daylight platform.
It’s noted the acquisition will also allow Daylight to dedicate resources to help it move into the U.S. market. Daylight will also continue to serve its enterprise clientel, including BMO Financial Group, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Allianz Global Assistance.
“The acquisition of Proof complements our capabilities and expertise in digital transformation,” said Art Harrison, co-founder and chief growth officer at Daylight. “Utilizing Proof’s talent and expertise will allow us to increase our knowledge depth and resiliency as we experience further growth in 2022 and expand into the U.S. market.”
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