Fast-Growing Montreal AI Startup Hippoc Receives $3 Million Funding Infusion

Fast-Growing Montreal AI Startup Hippoc Receives $3 Million Funding Infusion

Funds to be used for enhanced platform development and global expansion of breakthrough artificial intelligence tool for advertising execs

Montreal, January 31, 2022 – Fueled by exponential growth, Montreal-based Hippoc, a breakthrough digital marketing startup, today announced CAD$3 million in financing from Colvest Holdings Inc. and Distinction Capital (the private investment fund of CGI founder Serge Godin). Funds will be used to expand the business to a wider client base in North America as well as in Europe, and help the company support its vision to further develop its first-of-its-kind intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed for marketing specialists.

Hippoc – founded in 2019 by Jean-Maxime Larouche and Kévin Combe – launched its ground-breaking technology to resolve issues faced by marketers related to long delays and elevated costs associated with traditional advertising testing, such as focus groups and panels carried out with real consumers. The company’s web-based app, described as the ultimate advertising testing and optimization tool fueled by neuroscience and AI, predicts the cognitive impact of an ad before it appears online. Results are obtained through tests carried out on a replicated average human brain (see the video here) and are delivered instantly to marketing specialists – from start-ups and SMEs, large corporations and marketing/communications agencies, to junior and senior advertising designers, and freelancers – who can then validate the effectiveness of their ads.

According to a study conducted by Hippoc, 20% of advertising budgets for campaign launches is invested in ads that deliver significantly below average performance. A predictive test conducted by Hippoc can cut these budget losses in half, by identifying these ads before launch, said Larouche.

“Hippoc’s solution is timely for the digital marketing world, which is going through unprecedented challenges related to measuring performance, stricter regulations, new tools for consumers to restrict access to identifying data, and the imminent end of third-party cookies,” he explained. “Hippoc’s unique and proven platform solves these issues by offering a complete turnkey solution.

Thousands of users

Users of the company’s platform are growing exponentially, with thousands of clients already benefitting from the technology, including leading Canadian marketing and advertising agencies Glassroom, BleuBlancRouge and Adviso. Now, Hippoc is expanding across U.S. and collaborations are already underway with agencies in New York.

“Hippoc offers a powerful, intuitive tool that helps advertisers increase the impact and ad recall of the visuals they put forth on behalf of brands, for consumers,” said Charles Beaulieu, partner at Montreal and Toronto-based Glassroom agency. “In just a few seconds, this solution allows us to increase brand attribution and maximize the performance of visual content, contributing to better creative ROI.” 

Combe points to a study that shows 49% of a brand’s sales from advertising is attributed to the quality of the creative and the message. “More than clicks or mouse movements, an ad’s design – what people look at and remember – it is what plays an essential role in the purchasing decision process, and this is what Hippoc enables advertising and marketing professionals to pre-measure.”

Solutions adapted to needs of each client

Users credit Hippoc’s turnkey solution for making their advertising creation process faster, more efficient and less subjective since “each product is first sold to the ‘public’s brain,’” said Larouche.

He explained that affordable packages are available for companies of all sizes, from open-access web applications with special subscription types for SMEs, marketers and freelancers, to personalized corporate options adapted to companies’ needs.

The $3 million funding will support the current Hippoc platform as well as develop integrations with advertising platforms like Google and Facebook (Meta) and new applications, including software to dynamically analyze different types of content, such as interfaces, emails, blogs, animated content, videos and GIFs.

About Hippoc

Founded in 2019 by Jean-Maxime Larouche and Kévin Combe, Hippoc is a unique advertising testing and optimization platform fueled by neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Hippoc’s SaaS solution is designed to help marketing specialists evaluate the effectiveness of their advertising before it is used by replicating the internal workings of the human brain. Winner of the University of Montreal Entrepreneurial Centre’s Datapreneur Challenge and the National Bank Accelerator Demo Day, Hippoc’s mission is to help companies optimize their advertising so that the public will remember the message conveyed. For more information, please visit

About Distinction Capital

Founded in 2009, Distinction Capital is a private investment firm representing the interests of Serge Godin, founder and executive chair of the board of directors of CGI Inc. The firm intends to support certain growing companies by offering concrete support and access to its international network. Distinction Capital focuses on an approach that is based on profitability and minimizing additional dilutive financing.

About Colvest Holdings Inc.

Founded in 2018, Colvest Holdings Inc. is a private investment firm. It focuses on investments with unique, innovative products/services and on SMEs with an important current and future market positioning. Colvest Holdings Inc. is an added-value investor that provides strategic, operational support.

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