Borrowell raises $360,000 from LGBT investment group Gaingels

Toronto-based FinTech startup Borrowell has received a $360,000 CAD investment from Gaingels, a San Francisco-based LGBT affinity investment group. This funding marks Gaingels’ first Canadian investment.

“We believe the Borrowell investment represents a perfect first foundation stone for Gaingels’ expansion into Canada.”

Gaingels’ investment is part of a broader financing round for Borrowell, the size of which has yet to be announced. The FinTech startup closed its last funding round in July 2017, raising $57 million CAD. It recently released its AI-powered free credit monitoring app to the public, after a soft launch in January. At the time of the latest announcement, Borrowell was nearing one million users, reporting more than 800,000 users in January, which jumped to 900,000 in four months.

“Borrowell’s commitment to diversity, well-known leadership team, investor group and impressive growth in the Canadian market were all factors that made this an exciting first investment for Gaingels Canada,” said Chad Molleken, an investor from Gaingels Canada.

LGBT investment group said it selected Borrowell due to the startup’s strength in diversity and inclusion. Gaingels cited that half of Borrowell’s employees identify as women, including 44 percent of its senior leadership team. Last year, Borrowell was awarded the Elevate Everyone Award for Diversity and Inclusion, and was among this year’s best workplaces for women.

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Gaingels seeks to use its collective capital to support the economic empowerment of the LGBT community by investing in companies with LGBT executives or directors. According to The Globe and Mail, Gaingels’ investments typically range from $100,000 to $500,000, and the firm also offers expertise, mentorship, and a network for founders to forge new industry connections. Gaingels said in 2017, its companies raised over $40 million USD in funding in 2017, and $250 million in 2018. It says over half of its companies have a female founder or senior leader and over half have a non-white founder or senior leader.

“We’re exceptionally proud to be Gaingels’ first investment in the Canadian tech ecosystem. Diversity is one of our five core values at Borrowell and the diversity of our team has significantly contributed to our success as a company,” said Andrew Graham, co-founder and CEO of Borrowell. “Now, with Gaingels’ investment, we can continue to empower Canadians to improve their financial well-being.”

Originally based out of New York, Gaingels’ has expanded globally to Canada, Australia and the UK, offering a network to help propel growth and opportunities in mergers and acquisitions. ​Gaingels said it is looking to make its second Canadian investment before the end of the year.

“Borrowell has proven the success of its model in Canada and is a leader in the local technology community, as well as a strong example of the benefit of building a diverse leadership team,” said Paul Grossinger, founder of Gaingels. “We believe the Borrowell investment represents a perfect first foundation stone for Gaingels’ expansion into Canada.”

Image courtesy Borrowell

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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