Communo raises $1 million seed round from Panache Ventures to expand marketing platform

Calgary-based Communo, which helps connect businesses in the marketing and advertising fields, has raised a $1 million seed round, led by Panache Ventures with participation from several private investors.

Co-founded in 2016 by Ryan Gill and Chris Kneeland, Communo has developed a shared economy platform for marketing and advertising professionals. Specifically, Communo helps marketing services firms access a shared economy of jobs, clients, talent, and business resources. Communo said its platform is made up of pre-vetted members who come from 43 marketing disciplines, and the platform charges a monthly membership fee and does not charge service or commission fees.

“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,” said Gill.

“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.”

Communo plans to use the funding to continue its expansion into Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto this fall, opening offices in these cities with a goal of hiring up to 40 employees.

“We think the idea they presented is big and that there’s market opportunity,” said 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.”

Gill said that Communo is hoping to have over 1,000 members using its platform by the end of 2018, with plans to increase that number to 10,000 members in 2019.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth with skilled marketing professionals, small, and large agencies joining every day,” said Gill. “More creatives and advertising executives are joining Communo because they want a new operating model and a new way to run their business. Communo helps them broaden their offerings, operate large-scale talent acquisition at speeds only dreamed of and provides new work opportunities, large and small.”

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.