A Note from Bob
I’m excited to announce a significant milestone in the Rel8ed growth story. Today we announced Rel8ed has been acquired by Coface, a global leader in the trade credit insurance business. Operating in over 100 countries, Coface is focused on helping companies in all sectors minimize risk and grow their business through trade credit insurance and business intelligence services.
This is the moment many entrepreneurs dream of.
Seven years ago, we started with an idea to fill a hole in the market by making public data analytics available to anyone and everyone, and it’s really taken off. This vision has opened doors and put us in rooms that we only imagined we’d have access to.
One of those rooms was with the great team at Coface. Over the last year, we’ve been pleased to become such an integral piece of their trade credit insurance and business information processes. We also quickly realized there was something special about our collaboration – and that combining our talents and industry knowledge could build something truly spectacular and unique for the market.
We’re looking forward to this next chapter as a company and tackling bigger, broader and more ambitious solutions than ever before.
It’s an incredible opportunity, and I want to tell you all about it.
From the beginning... Our roots in the bi-national Buffalo Niagara ecosystem
Rel8ed launched in 2016 in Canada’s Golden Horseshoe as a portfolio company of Innovate Niagara, St. Catharines’ Regional Innovation Centre. We were fortunate to receive early support from a number of public and private partners, including Brock University, Toronto Board of Trade, the Ontario Centre of Excellence, and St. Catharines and Niagara Region Economic Development.
For our first few years, we grew in St. Catharines, providing Big Data solutions and predictive analytics for organizations of all sizes across the public, private, not-for-profit and academic sectors.
In 2018, we became a bi-national company working closely with LaunchNY, Invest Buffalo Niagara, World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and major universities in Buffalo and Rochester, New York, to grow the company exponentially leading up to today’s announcement.
Why did we choose Coface?
Coface presents a compelling opportunity for our growth: a large global footprint; a business information practice poised for breakout growth; and demonstrated major investment in innovation over the past several years.
Coface also understands the balance – and sometimes limitations – of the AI machine. As a company with a huge insurance segment, their need for human-approved risk underwriting means they use both data intelligence and human intelligence in nearly all assessments. Said best by Coface’s CEO Xavier Durand in his book The Values of Risk:
“[We need] a culture that allows us both to take advantage of these new tools and to identify how much we can rely on them when the environment is changing rapidly. In this sense, nothing in an uncertain future can replace the expertise, collaboration, trust, and agility of corporate culture.”
Can you say “Robot Training”?
Coface’s vision and strategy align closely with our Rel8ed approach and philosophy. Fueled by their global resources and opportunities, we know we will be unlocking something bigger and better by making our teams one.
What happens next?
As a subsidiary of Coface, we’ll bring our entrepreneurial approach and versatility into an established global group of risk management and business intelligence companies, expanding the worldwide reach of Rel8ed data and innovations.
For Coface, Rel8ed provides a global, publicly-sourced, commercial database and unique analytics for lead generation and risk management. This acquisition will support the company’s continued growth and innovation in more than 100 countries.
The great news for Rel8ed clients: we will continue to provide the same hands-on, customized service we are known for. Now with Coface’s investment and reach, we’ll have a lot more weight and a global network of behind everything that we do.
This means even more powerful global data, radical acceleration of our AI tools and a growing team of humans charged with discovering the curious stories our data provides.
We were excited about our future before Coface got involved – now our excitement about bringing public data solutions to companies of all sizes around the world is off the charts.
Thanks for being a part of this journey!