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HeyOrca making waves

Local tech company receives $2 million in follow-on funding


By Susan Flanagan

HeyOrca knows that after delivering on your promises, the second most important factor in client retention is successful communications.

“Effective communication is vital to a successful client-marketing agency relationship,” said Joseph Teo, CEO, or, chief executive “orca” of the social media planning company and a graduate of Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration.

From left, Bardish Chagger, minister, of Small Business and Tourism, high fives HeyOrca founder Joe Teo at the Genesis Centre, March 2016.
From left, Bardish Chagger, minister, Small Business and Tourism, high fives HeyOrca founder Joe Teo at the Genesis Centre, March 2016.

HeyOrca recognizes that and we are building technologies that enable communication to take place efficiently.”

$2 million in funding

HeyOrca received further validation of its startup company when on May 30, Killick Capital and Pelorus Venture Capital announced $2 million in follow-on seed funding for the Genesis portfolio company, founded by Mr. Teo and Sahand Seifi, another Memorial alumnus, having received a master of science degree from Memorial in 2015.

“HeyOrca combines many of the attributes we like to see in our investee companies.” — Mark Dobbin

This takes the company’s total funds raised to $2.65 million.

“From our perspective at Killick, HeyOrca combines many of the attributes we like to see in our investee companies,” said Mark Dobbin, founder and president of Killick Capital, a leading Atlantic Canadian private equity firm.

“The leadership team has developed a culture of teamwork. They are data driven and always challenging themselves and their assumptions, which drives relentless improvement. The value they are creating and the job creation that flows from it is a shining example of how important increased immigration is for our future.”

HeyOrca founders Joseph Teo and Sahand Seifi
From left are HeyOrca founders Joseph Teo and Sahand Seifi.
Photo: Chris Hammond

Happy clients

“HeyOrca consolidates client content calendars in one place. This allows our agency to centralize social media planning and communications, as well as significantly reduce unnecessary redundancies,” said Imagine Media, an Atlanta-based client of HeyOrca. “With HeyOrca, we’re saving 10 or more hours a week on content planning and communications.”

“There’s no need for spreadsheets,” added Mr. Teo. “Both agency and client are on the same page and can communicate any changes instantaneously.”

With the new funding, HeyOrca will continue expanding its presence in the U.S. market, as well as grow its product and sales team. The company plans to double its headcount this year to 30 to support its growth trajectory.

Genesis Centre portfolio company

“We are so proud of Joe, Sahand and the whole team at HeyOrca,” said Michelle Simms, president and CEO of the Genesis Centre, which is ranked one of the top incubators in Canada.

“In the past year, HeyOrca’s customer base has grown by 800 per cent.” — Michelle Simms

In addition to providing working space, the centre connects entrepreneurs with marketing and finance mentorship and management resources along all stages of their development.

“In the past year, HeyOrca’s customer base has grown by 800 per cent, picking up 160 new businesses in the process,” Ms. Simms said, who noted that besides Killick Capital and Pelorus Venture Capital, HeyOrca has received financial support from BDC Capital.

The company has also received programming support from Propel ICT, the Genesis Centre and the Canadian Digital Media Network. Duleepa Wijayawardhana, a Memorial Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences alumnus currently based in Kingston, Ont., also provided considerable early mentorship to the company.

“The story of HeyOrca is a testament to how a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem can support a technology company to allow them to focus on what’s most important: customers and company growth,” added Ms. Simms.

HeyOrca will use the funding to continue to develop technologies that allow marketing agencies to generate visual mock-ups of social media content and centralize all client approvals and feedback in one place.

Recent study

A recent study conducted by U.S. ad agency, RPA, found that where 88 per cent of clients claim to speak their mind freely, only 36 per cent of agency partners agree. Where 90 per cent of agencies say they truly understand their clients’ business, only 65 per cent of their other-halves agree, revealing that the client-agency relationship can be (and often is) dysfunctional at best. This funding allows HeyOrca to correct that disconnect.

Top 10 social tools

HeyOrca was recently added to the top 10 social tools to consider by app review site, G2 Crowd, holding its own against industry veterans like Hootsuite and SproutSocial.

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