Calgary-based Communo raises $3.3 million to expand

The company says Calgary's nascent digital district is attracting talent and companies from Alberta and from abroad

Calgary-based Communo, developer of a platform for advertising, marketing and digital agencies and professionals to give and get work, announced Thursday it has secured $3.3 million in funding to help it expand into the U.S. and UK markets.

Total seed funding by the company is $4.3 million.

“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.

“We are excited to be building Communo within what we’ve dubbed Calgary’s ‘Digital District’, which is attracting talent and companies not just from Alberta, but from abroad. We look forward to working with the city of Calgary, and are optimistic about potential funding from OCIF (Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund) and the province of Alberta to further develop our technology and invest in the human capital we need to become a true global player, while growing a local ecosystem dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and technology companies.”

Communo was founded in 2016 by Gill and Chris Kneeland to address the rapidly changing agency landscape by reinventing the way creative talent is sourced, evaluated and hired. The platform is now used by 40,000+ users producing over $25 million 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.

Communo said 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; and a number of other well-known global agency executives. Other notable investors are Andrew Kortina, founder of global mobile payments company, Venmo, and Rich Antoniello, CEO of Complex. They join institutional VC firms like Panache Ventures and ICM of Calgary. 

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

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