Tony Van Marken

Tony van Marken is co-founder and Managing Partner of First Ascent Ventures. Tony is an experienced international executive who has worked in the private and public markets as a high-tech entrepreneur, management consultant and investor, having worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.

Tony was previously Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Vox Telecom Limited (JSE: VOX), a leading independent telecommunications service provider in South Africa. Tony succeeded in transforming Vox Telecom from a relatively small telecommunications service provider with $10 million in revenue into South Africa’s leading, alternative independent telecom operator with annualized revenues of $262 million prior to its privatization.

Tony is a former General Partner with XDL Intervest Corporation, a Canadian venture capital fund, where he led investments in the software and telecommunications industry. Prior to XDL, he was President and CEO of Architel Systems Corporation (NASDAQ: ASYCF, TSX: ASY), a global leader in telecommunications software. Tony served as President and CEO over the period 1994 to 1999 and grew revenues from $1 million to $70 million and led Architel through its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1996 and NASDAQ listing in 1998. Architel had over 450 employees worldwide across four continents with a market capitalization of $400 million. Prior to Architel, Tony worked as a management consultant for Accenture in London and South Africa.

Tony graduated with a B.Sc. (Computer Science) from the University of Cape Town and with a B.Comm. (Economics and Business Management) from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and has completed executive education courses at Kellogg University, Wits Business School (South Africa) and the Oxford Saïd Business School.

Tony is an accomplished endurance athlete (marathon, ultra marathon and mountain bike stage racer) and a veteran of over 35 high-altitude mountaineering expeditions with over 65 summits. He summitted Everest in 2005 to complete his quest to climb the world’s seven continental summits. He has acted as a motivational speaker for corporations and international conferences around the world. He has also lectured on Leadership on the executive programs for the Oxford Saïd Business School, Duke Corporate Executive Education and the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.

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Experience

  • Accenture
  • Architel Systems Corporation
  • XDL Intervest
  • Vox Telecom
  • Walsingham Growth Partners

Prior Exits

  • Rubikloud Technologies (exit to Kinaxis)

Mentorship

  • G7 Associate/Mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL)
 

AI STARTUP RUBIKLOUD TO BE ACQUIRED BY OTTAWA-BASED KINAXIS FOR $81.4 MILLION CAD

OTTAWA, ON, June 15, 2020 – Kinaxis® Inc. (TSX: KXS), the authority in driving agility for fast, confident decision-making in an unpredictable world, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Toronto-based Rubikloud, a disruptive, emerging provider of AI solutions that automate supply chain prescriptive analytics and decision-making in the retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries.

Globally-recognized retailers and CPG manufacturers in the health and beauty, household and grocery segments use Rubikloud’s AI-based products today. Their offerings include demand forecasting and automation to manage and optimize trade promotions, pricing and assortment to drive product demand and dramatically improve financial results. Kinaxis will enhance RapidResponse’s demand planning capabilities with the Rubikloud offerings, anticipating initial opportunities in the company’s rapidly-growing CPG customer base and over time for other industries such as life sciences. The acquisition also offers Kinaxis a springboard into the enterprise retail industry.

“Rubikloud has capabilities and value that we can offer our CPG customers today, leads us into the retail industry with some bellwether accounts, and adds a group of approximately 80 people to an already-impressive AI and machine learning (ML) team here at Kinaxis. Over time, this enhanced group will contribute to new and existing AI-powered capabilities across the full Kinaxis RapidResponse® platform and applications,” said John Sicard, President and CEO of Kinaxis. “This acquisition reflects the growing importance of AI and ML to power intelligent automation and augment human decision-making to better deliver on customer promises, remove waste and increase resiliency for effective risk management.”

Rubikloud’s SaaS-based ML offerings empower retail and CPG manufacturers to transform their core operations by improving and automating complex, profit-generating decisions. Rubikloud’s proven AI capabilities and intuitive tools enable users to leverage disparate data sources to improve forecast accuracy, site-level allocations, inventory availability and promotion plans by allowing users to run boundless simulations in real time.

“We founded Rubikloud with the belief that purpose-built AI could be used to solve some of the most complex industry problems and we have spent the last seven years building a fantastic product that receives validation from global customers every day,” said Kerry Liu, CEO, Rubikloud. “We’re excited at the prospect of joining Kinaxis, which helps us bring our innovations to a much broader customer base at a faster pace than on our own. Not only that, being two strong Canadian companies we see great cultural synergy and look forward to working on the complex problems we know RapidResponse and concurrent planning can solve for customers.”

Terms of Agreement
Kinaxis will acquire Rubikloud for US$60 million in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close within 60 days. Based on Rubikloud’s current revenue and expense profile, the company’s fiscal 2020 revenue and Adjusted EBITDA guidance, as reiterated in its May 6, 2020 news release, remains unchanged. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About Kinaxis Inc. 
Everyday volatility and uncertainty demand quick action. Kinaxis® delivers the agility to make fast, confident decisions across integrated business planning and the digital supply chain. People can plan better, live better and change the world. Trusted by innovative brands, we combine human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for any future, monitor risks and opportunities and respond at the pace of change. Powered by an extensible, cloud-based platform, Kinaxis delivers industry-proven applications so everyone can know sooner, act faster and remove waste. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.