(Corrects date in dateline to Feb 10 from Feb 11, corrects day in first paragraph to Tuesday from Wednesday.)
By John Tilak
TORONTO, Feb 10 (Reuters) - Canadian technology start-up Miovision, which produces software that converts video of vehicle traffic into data, said on Tuesday it received C$30 million ($23.83 million) in funding to help support its growth plans.
The funding, its biggest to-date, was led by Canadian merchant bank MacKinnon, Bennett & Co. Investeco Capital, Renewal Funds, Plaza Ventures and Comerica also participated.
The Kitchener, Ontario-based company has more than 500 customers in 50 countries. They include the transportation departments of Massachusetts, Texas and Illinois, as well as the city of Edmonton and Caltrans.
Founded in 2005, Miovision collects data by filming videos at intersections to capture the traffic flow, alerting customers when problems arise and helping them understand the impact of changes like the building of new malls and schools.
Companies such as McCain Inc and Tyco Traffic & Transportation, a unit of Tyco International Plc, are other players in the space. Technology giants such as IBM and Cisco Systems Inc have also been showing interest in the ‘smart city’ concept.
Miovision plans to use the cash to expand its product range and step up hiring of engineers.
“The funding ... will take our vision forward and get ourselves into a broader product portfolio,” said Kurtis McBride, chief executive of Miovision, who helped start the company as an engineering student at the University of Waterloo.
Miovision, which is profitable, has been growing revenue at an annual rate of 60 to 80 percent in the past six to seven years, he said.
The biggest Canadian venture capital deal in 2014 was an C$85 million funding round to Desire2Learn Inc, according to Thomson Reuters data. BuildDirect, Wattpad, HootSuite and Verafin Inc were other companies involved with securing significant financing in 2014, the report said.
Overall Canadian start-ups received some C$2.36 billion in funding in 2014, a 21 percent jump from a year ago, according to the report.
$1 = 1.2588 Canadian dollars Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Andrew Hay