Ontario Teachers’ Goes on Spending Spree in Education, Food, Workforce Technologies

The allocator led a series of funding rounds into ApplyBoard, Motif FoodWorks, and Beamery.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has led a series of funding rounds into education, food, and human capital technology firms, the investor disclosed this week. 

Earlier this week, the Canadian allocator said it invested in talent operation system Beamery, plant-based food company Motif FoodWorks, and online education firm ApplyBoard. 

On Thursday, Ontario Teachers’ led a $138 million Series C funding round into workforce technology firm Beamery through its Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP) initiative. The internal program invests in late-stage venture and growth equity investments. 

Beamery uses artificial intelligence (AI) to sort through and identify candidates for hire. Last year, the firm reported that revenue shot up 337% in the fourth quarter. The firm has filled 1 million job postings for a number of notable clients, including AstraZeneca, Autodesk, Nasdaq, and Workday. 

On Wednesday, Ontario Teachers’, through TIP, jointly led a $226 million Series B funding round into food company Motif FoodWorks, along with funds managed by BlackRock. Other firms joining the two included AiiM Partners, Wittington Ventures, Rethink Food, Rage Capital, and Rellevant Partners. 

The Boston-headquartered Motif, which spun out of Ginkgo Bioworks in 2019, will expand research and development into plant-based food technologies. It has also secured licensing partnerships to create plant-based cheeses with improved melting and stretching capabilities, as well as healthier fats that can marbleize plant-based meats.

On Tuesday, Ontario Teachers’, through TIP, led a C$375 million (US$300 million) funding round into ApplyBoard. The Series D funding round was joined by existing investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, BDC, Harmonic, Index Ventures, Garage Capital, and Blue Cloud Ventures. 

ApplyBoard will support international students with products and services that will help admissions officers and immigration officials track English test scores, letters of acceptance, and other documents. The firm was started in 2015 by Iranian international students Martin, Meti, and Massi Basiri, who are also brothers.

The C$221.2 billion Ontario Teachers’ manages about 80% of its diversified portfolio in-house. Since its founding in 1990, the plan has earned a 9.6% annualized return. Last year, it earned 8.6%, falling short of its 10.7% benchmark. 

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