Orenda Software Solutions Inc. and Swarmio Inc., two Cape Breton IT companies, have received grants and loans totalling almost $1.5 million from the federal government to help them grow.

The government announced Wednesday that the companies will receive grants from the Canadian Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, or IRAP, and loans from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, or ACOA.

“We are extremely proud to continue our work at Orenda here in Membertou,” said Orenda CEO and Owner Tanya Seajay in the statement. “We have seen this company grow significantly over the last five years and anticipate that this growth will continue with the help of the investments received here today."

Orenda Software, which will receive a $440,000 conditional loan from ACOA and a grant of as much as $418,800 from IRAP, has developed a social media mining software service to aid marketers. The solution interprets impressions about an organization and calculates the potential impact on its brand and reputation. The company uses machine-learning technology that assigns human sentiment to each word in the dictionary before storing, interpreting and illustrating it on a user-friendly dashboard design.

The funding will help the company increase its research and development, including artificial intelligence and natural language understanding technology. This project will enable Orenda to hire seven full-time employees, in addition to its current staff of five.

Swarmio, meanwhile, aims to solve a huge problem for multi-player online games. When players in different parts of the world are playing one another, the system is much faster for the player closest to the server, giving that player an unfair advantage.

Swarmio’s solution is to develop a network of remote servers, so the players are always playing on a server based roughly equal distances from each of them. Swarmio is a decentralized eSports platform with an automated tournament management system. Today, Swarmio's platform connects more than 170 data centers in more than 70 regions globally.

The company is receiving a $338,369 grant from IRAP to help an R&D project that will help to deploy and manage the operation of its technology. The $250,000 ACOA loan will help the company launch its technology in Southern Asia and Brazil. As a result, the company hopes to reach 10 million users worldwide in the next two years and create six full-time positions.

The funding comes as Swarmio is preparing for a listing on the TSX Venture exchange.

"Video gaming is the largest form of entertainment in the world today in terms of revenue,” said Swarmio CEO Vijai Karthigesu. “It is larger than sports, music and movies combined. Swarmio has developed the latency-optimized edge computing technology to deliver lag-free gaming and offers it to telecom operators globally to help them seize a piece of the growing gaming market."