Communo Raises $3.3M in Seed Round Funding, Positioned to Offer Industry Leading Platform to Agencies and Freelancers Globally
Investors include some of North America’s most prominent entrepreneurs and marketing industry leaders, a significant endorsement of Communo’s offering and strategic direction
New York, NY, January 23, 2020 — Today, Communo, developers of the most inclusive platform for advertising, marketing & digital agencies and professionals to give and get work, announced the close of $3.3M in seed round funding, bringing its total funding to $4.3M. The funds will help finance Communo’s overall growth and continued expansion in the US and UK markets.
Investors in the seed round include prominent investors, entrepreneurs and leaders in the marketing industry such as Brett Wilson, Chairman of Prairie Merchant and previous panelist on CBC’s The Dragon’s Den; industry legend, Frank Palmer, founder of advertising firm Palmer Jarvis and previous president, chairman and CEO of DDB Canada; a number of well known global agency executives; and other notable investors including Andrew Kortina, founder of global mobile payments company, Venmo and Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex. They join institutional VC firms that have previously invested in Communo, like Panache Ventures and ICM of Calgary, Alberta.
“We created Communo because we believe the way agencies find and engage with talent needs to change – for the good of the work and the good of their businesses,” said Ryan Gill, Co-founder and CEO of Communo. “The seed round will allow us to enhance our offering to both agencies and freelancers, aggressively expand our footprint in new markets, and grow our tightly knit and vetted community of marketing pros to share work, share growth and share success.”
Communo was founded in 2018 to address the rapidly changing agency landscape by reinventing the way creative talent is sourced, evaluated and hired. As brands abandon agency of record engagements and the median tenure of CMO’s declines, agencies can no longer rely on strong client relationships and multi-year retainers as the default operating model. In addition, top talent is increasingly opting for more appealing contractor engagements that offer greater flexibility, diversity and compensation.
To overcome these challenges, Communo has developed a human resource platform powered by a business development engine exclusively for the marketing and creative services industries. Unlike other third-party contingent worker sites, Communo combines access to experts with a mutually beneficial revenue-generation model designed to both give, and get, work.
In just three years, Communo has experienced tremendous growth. The platform is now used by 40,000+ users producing over $25M in deal flow in 2019 alone. In partnership with Spaces, the company has opened compounds and shared workspaces for members in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary, and New York for its members. Key hires have included Mike Germano, previous Chief Digital Officer of Vice Media, as President of Communo, and two ex-Google staffers, Anish Karandikar as a lead developer and Nathan Stone as VP of Growth. In 2019, Communo continued its industry roll-up with the acquisition of a major competitor, Localsolo.
“In the not-to-distant future, many advertising, creative and marketing services firms will be deselected because they are too big. Clients will stop paying inflated hourly rates resulting from staff overhead and will refuse to fund resources not directly engaged on their business,” said Gill. “Marketing firms must get smaller, employ liquid talent models, but still retain the ability to scale with speed in order to accommodate dynamic client demands. The Communo model is the ideal solution to meet these challenges, and these funds will allow us to bring our platform to agency owners and freelancers around the world. There must be a leading, recognizable brand that freelancers and agencies alike know, trust and engage with – we will be that brand and platform.”
Communo has all the right talent, all in one place. We are on a mission to unite great agencies and people by reinventing the way creative talent is sourced, evaluated and hired. Founded in October 2018 by veteran marketing executives Ryan Gill and Chris Kneeland, and based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Communo has members and offices around North America. Communo is the Managed Market Network for Creative, Marketing, Advertising and PR Industries that allows freelancers and agencies to embrace the Sharing Economy that is upon us.