Tech startup for marketing professionals expands to Seattle and Vancouver
Aug. 2, 2018 – (Calgary, AB) – Canadian startup Communo has expanded to the United States and recently closed its first round of seed funding with investments from Panache Ventures and several other private investors. To date, Communo has raised approximately $1M and, through its sharing economy platform for marketing professionals, facilitated the exchange of millions of dollars worth of business between members and agencies.
As Communo continues its expansion in Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto this fall, the startup plans to hire up to 40 employees and open buildings, known as Compounds, in each of these cities.
“The financial backing of Panache Ventures and our other investors gives us the ability to reach more people and continue our mission to change the way the marketing and advertising industry operates,” says Ryan Gill, CEO of Communo.
Panache Ventures is Canada’s most active seed stage venture capital fund. The firm invests in founders with a proven track record and a great idea.
Gill, the former president of engagement agency Cult Collective, co-founded Communo with his business partner Chris Kneeland. It had a successful proof of concept year in 2016 with 100 member firms and officially launched in 2017. It is on track to close out 2018 with more than 1,000 members and expects to increase that number tenfold with 10,000 members in 2019.
“We think the idea they presented is big and that there’s market opportunity,” says Patrick Lor, managing partner at Panache Ventures. “The major investment themes of Panache are to invest early and invest in founders that we think have the magic touch. That means we have to invest in founders that we trust with exceptional abilities, skills, networks and talents. We think that Ryan and Chris really check those boxes off,” he adds.
Lor says he’s impressed with the community and the experience that Communo offers its members and is excited about future growth opportunities.
Communo is the only sharing economy platform specifically for marketing and advertising professionals. It’s a curated membership-based community made up of 43 different marketing disciplines. It charges a monthly membership fee, but unlike other platforms, doesn’t charge a commission or a service fee on the work completed. Members include pre-vetted professionals who excel at their craft and share work, talent and resources.
According to Digiday, the number one problem facing agencies right now is finding talent. Statistics show they lose one of every three employees each year, as many turn to consulting, freelancing and contract work.
“We’re seeing a lot of growth with skilled marketing professionals, small, and large agencies joining every day. More creatives and advertising executives are joining Communo because they want a new operating model and a new way to run their business, ” says Gill.
“Communo helps them broaden their offerings, operate large-scale talent acquisition at speeds only dreamed of and provides new work opportunities, large and small,” he adds.
Founded in 2017 by veteran marketing executives Ryan Gill and Chris Kneeland, Communo connects people to projects and projects to people. It is the only sharing economy platform for marketing and advertising professionals. Highly curated members share work, talent, resources and knowledge through a digital platform and at co-working spaces called Compounds.
About Panache Ventures:
Panache is Canada’s most active seed-stage venture capital fund investing across sectors. The $50-million fund has a founders-first philosophy, a commitment to diversity and strategically co-invests with smart angel investors and seed stage funds.