American business magnate — and reality TV star — Mark Cuban has invested in a Calgary-based technology company.
The billionaire called eThor's Point of Sale software a "breakthrough technology."
The Calgary company's new technology enables retailers to send information to consumers' smartphones, such as product and pricing information.
Consumers can then order food and retail goods using a smartphone app.
"Over the next few years we are going to see a major shift in the way the world finds and pays for products," Cuban said in a statement.
"I'm excited to be involved and help push eThor forward," the statement added.
eThor CEO Gary Ziegler calls the investment a major boost for his Calgary firm.
"It was pretty awesome," says Ziegler.
"Having someone with his name and celebrity attached to your company is great. Obviously, he's been successful in all walks of life and he got his start in technology, so having someone like him attached to your company — and involved in your company — is a huge, huge step forward."
Overall business boost
Business analysts call Cuban's investment a big endorsement for Calgary's burgeoning technology sector.
"It's an indication that Calgary is not all about oil and gas," said David Allwright, associate dean of Mount Royal University's Bissett School of Business.
"This is going to be something that really boosts the image of Calgary's technology sector and maybe take the focus off oil and gas," added Allwright.
eThor says the cash from Cuban will help the company expand into the $1.3 trillion online-to-offline commerce industry.
"It will help us to hire more people, more developers and to expand our platform," said Ziegler.
"We currently have more customers and more partnerships in the pipeline than we can actually service. So, to have him invest in us and back us will give us the resources we need to push forward and turn this into a large company," he added.