Facedrive Inc. (“Facedrive“) (TSXV:FD) (OTCQX:FDVRF), a Canadian “people-and-planet first” technology ecosystem, is pleased to announce that TraceSCAN, the COVID-19 wearable contact-tracing solution developed by Facedrive Health, has been endorsed with an investment by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (the “Ministry”) to further its contact tracing effort amidst the province’s ongoing fight with the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 11, 2021, the parties entered into agreement whereby Facedrive will receive CAD $2,500,000 in non-dilutive funding via the Ministry’s “Ontario Together Fund” (“OTF”) to accelerate deployment of TraceSCAN technology across multiple sectors and assist in its expansion to meet rising global demand.
The Ontario Together Fund was launched to help businesses provide innovative solutions and manufacture essential medical supplies and equipment to support Ontario’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. TraceSCAN, previously endorsed by the Ministry of Skills Development and Training for implementation in the workplace, has been selected by the OTF as a leader in providing wearable contact-tracing and social distancing solutions. The Ministry showed full support to TraceSCAN in its intention to develop and release its next generation of devices – which enhance their features with advanced health monitoring components – and supply the technology to every institution, business or individual impacted by the pandemic. The Ministry’s recipient selection process involved an extensive diligence component and was overseen by a robust and objective third party evaluation tool brought by Deloitte Canada.
The TraceSCAN contact-tracing wearable solution, developed jointly by Facedrive Health and a group of researchers from the University of Waterloo, is powered by cutting-edge Bluetooth technology enabling it to work as a standalone device or in conjunction with mobile-powered solutions such as the Government of Canada’s COVID Alert app. TraceSCAN is especially suited for work environments where employees may not be able to carry or have access to mobile devices. The technology also caters to at-risk consumer demographics such as the elderly and low-income individuals and families who may not possess smart phones, have affordable access to data or be familiar with the use of smart phone apps. The TraceSCAN technology is validated by a white paper on privacy and security features issued jointly by Facedrive Health and McCarthy Tétrault’s MT Ventures while being powered through Microsoft Azure. Following numerous successful implementations with large enterprise customers such as LiUNA and Air Canada, SMEs, First Nations communities, and a spiking demand for multifunctional connected health solutions, TraceSCAN has rapidly expanded its use case scenarios into multiple business sectors such as recreation, travel, manufacturing, food processing, construction and other industries.
This announcement reflects the strong momentum for Ontario-based tech product innovators to come to prominence in both Canada as well as the international arena and illustrates the Ministry’s acknowledgement of the critical importance of contact-tracing, its effectiveness in mitigating the consequences of the pandemic and potential to prevent its further spread. Beyond the immediate goal of combatting COVID-19, it also serves the purpose of securing supply chains, creating skilled jobs for many Ontarians and attracting foreign capital to the province. It is also expected that for TraceSCAN, this initial endorsement will pave the way to meaningful long-term relationships with provincial and state governments with a view to future collaboration and enabling TraceSCAN’s large-scale impact. With global awareness and demand for contact tracing solutions on the rise, government backing will be critical for TraceSCAN to scale its production accordingly and meet growing operational needs.
“The continued support of the Ontario Government is very valuable to us at Facedrive, and we are humbled to receive this endorsement facilitating our work during the pandemic,” stated Sayan Navaratnam, Chairman and CEO of Facedrive. “We are looking forward to working side by side with government institutions in our joint mission to create safe environments for our communities, restart the economy and bring businesses back to work. We also understand that our responsibility as a global ESG ecosystem is not limited to Canada, and are committed to equipping our international customers with the cutting-edge TraceSCAN technology as well. The OTF funds will be instrumental in helping us grow production volumes, invest in top talent, create jobs and ultimately establish TraceSCAN as a global leader and household name for contact tracing,” added Navaratnam.
“Our government is taking extraordinary measures to support businesses and organizations that are responding to COVID-19,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “It’s inspiring to see pioneering technologies like TraceSCAN emerge within the Ontario business community and take on leading roles in combatting the effects of this pandemic. Through the Ontario Together Fund, we are making sure that companies like TraceSCAN have the resources and support they need to supply emergency products and innovative solutions quickly and efficiently to help address this challenging time together.”
About the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (formally known as Ministry of Economic Development and Growth) in the Canadian Province of Ontario is responsible for programs to attract and retain business and economic development in the province. This is pursued through research and development funding, business advisory services, career exploration opportunities and business startup programs for youth, skills development and marketing Ontario to potential international business investors.
Facedrive is a multi-faceted “people-and-planet first” tech ecosystem offering socially-responsible services to local communities with a strong commitment to doing business fairly, equitably and sustainably. As part of this commitment, Facedrive’s vision is to fulfil its mandate through a number of verticals that either leverage existing technologies of the Company or project synergies with existing lines of business (the “Facedrive Verticals”). The Facedrive Verticals include its rideshare business (“Facedrive Rideshare”), sustainable e-commerce platform (“Facedrive Marketplace”), food-delivery service (“Facedrive Foods”), e-social platform (“Facedrive Social”) and its contact-tracing and sustainable health services business (“Facedrive Health”).
Facedrive Rideshare was among the first to offer a wide variety of environmentally and socially responsible solutions in the Transportation as a Service (TaaS) space, planting thousands of trees based on user consumption and offering choices between electric, hybrid and conventional vehicles (including, more recently, electric and hybrid vehicles on a subscription basis through Steer). Facedrive Marketplace offers curated merchandise created from sustainably sourced materials. Facedrive Foods offers contactless delivery of a wide variety of foods right to consumers’ doorsteps, with a focus on doing so in a socially and environmentally-conscious manner. Facedrive Social strives to keep people connected in a physically-distanced world through its HiQ and other e-socialization platforms that invite users to interact based on common interests and by offering gamification and mutual community support features. Facedrive Health strives to develop and offer innovative technological solutions to the most acute health challenges including its proprietary TraceSCAN wearable technology for contact tracing. Facedrive envisions changing the ridesharing, food delivery, e-commerce, social and health tech narratives for the better, for everyone, and is currently operational in Canada and the United States.
For more about Facedrive, visit www.facedrive.com.
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Certain information in this press release contains forward-looking information. This information is based on management’s reasonable assumptions and beliefs in light of the information currently available to us and are made as of the date of this press release. Actual results (such as the success of any initiatives launched based on the OTF funds) and the timing of events may differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking information as a result of various factors. Information regarding our expectations of future results, performance, achievements, prospects or opportunities or the markets in which we operate is forward-looking information. Statements containing forward-looking information are not facts but instead represent management’s expectations, estimates and projections regarding future events or circumstances. Many factors could cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements or future events or developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
See “Forward-Looking Information” and “Risk Factors” in Facedrive’s Filing Statement dated August 28, 2019 for a discussion of the uncertainties, risks and assumptions associated with these statements. Readers are urged to consider the uncertainties, risks and assumptions carefully in evaluating the forward-looking information and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such information. We have no intention and undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law.
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