A startup company that was co-founded by an alumnus of Waterloo Engineering achieved unicorn status this week with the announcement of US $350 million in new funding.

The deal gives Assent Compliance, a software-as-a-service company based in Ottawa, a market valuation of more than $1 billion as it aims to grow to over 1,000 employees by the end of 2022.

Assent was co-founded by Andrew Waitman (BASc ’87, electrical engineering), who has served as chief executive officer since 2014.

'Deep insight and rapid transparency'

“Assent enables deep insight and rapid transparency to help ensure products are made with environmental and human rights standards necessary to compete — and win — in markets of the future,” he said in a media release announcing the new funding.

The private company helps manufacturers bring responsible products to market by ensuring the raw materials in their supply chains comply with complex government regulations on everything from human rights to health and safety.

The funding deal comes after a year of growth that boosted Assent’s global workforce by 35 per cent to more than 800 and its annual revenue by better than 50 per cent. Supply-chain issues during COVID-19 have only added to its momentum.

One of largest funding rounds in Canada

“The increasing complexity and scale of regulations and varying requirements globally, combined with a heightened focus on ESG (environmental, social and governance), presents challenges for companies across industries, particularly for manufacturers,” Waitman said in the release.

The funding round, described as one of the largest in the history of Canadian software companies, was led by Vista Equity Partners of Texas, an investment firm focused on enterprise software, data and technology-enabled businesses.

“Andrew and his team at Assent are ahead of the curve when it comes to solving enterprise supply chain challenges through technology,” said Patrick Severson of Vista.

Photo: Andrew Waitman is a co-founder and CEO of Assent Compliance.