Entertainment tech startup Wrapbook raises $4.7 million CAD seed round

Film

Toronto and New York-based Wrapbook, which creates software for workforces in the media production space, has raised a $4.7 million CAD ($3.6 million USD) seed round of equity financing. This round represents Wrapbook’s first external round of funding.

“We created Wrapbook to bring best in class technology to the area of production which has been limited by outdated and paper-based processes.”
– Naysawn Naji, Wrapbook

The round was led by Equal Ventures, with participation from Uncork Capital, Paylocity founder Steve Sarowitz’s family office, 4S Bay Partners, and other undisclosed investors also participated in the financing. Wrapbook plans to use the capital to enhance the user experience on its platform.

Founded in 2018, Wrapbook has developed payroll software specifically for media production companies. Its digital onboarding tool allows producers to set up a cast and crew for a media production quickly, sometimes within days of shooting. The onboarding tool is aimed to save hours of startup and administrative paperwork.

Once a team is onboarded, workers then have a personal Wrapbook profile, which can transfer from job to job and company to company. This, the startup says, removes the need to refill employment start paperwork across new employers and saves time for companies and workers.

“At a time when the world’s appetite for content is exploding, we created Wrapbook to bring best in class technology to the area of production which has been limited by outdated and paper-based processes until now,” said Naysawn Naji, co-founder of Wrapbook. “It’s a back-office that involves managing a great deal of licenses, planning, paperwork, insurance, and payments.”

When a production wraps, Wrapbook’s software digitizes payroll and offloading workers, by auto-calculating time cards; so that overtime, differing day-rates, union dues, kit fees, mileage, and expenses are submitted, reviewed, and approved quickly.

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The startup’s team is currently split between the United States and Canada, with all of the product and engineering teams based in Ontario. Speaking with BetaKit, Ali Javid, CEO and co-founder of Wrapbook, told BetaKit the dual operations in Canada and the US have been beneficial for the business.

“It’s a unique advantage because I think Silicon Valley and New York venture capital operates differently than Canadian VCs still,” Javid said. “It’s advantageous to reach into that bucket while we’re also reaching into the advantage of the Canadian tech scene. I feel like we’re getting the best of both worlds in that way.”

“I think the cultural aspect has been a really unique advantage and it’s really grounded the company in not getting ahead of ourselves and being really true to what our customers are saying,” Javid added.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily affected the entertainment industry, Javid said it has accelerated Wrapbook’s thesis. The CEO claimed that because the media industry is trying to go paperless in a remote working environment, the startup can automatically enable employees to work remotely by processing and paying people digitally. He added that Wrapbook’s signups have grown since the onset of the pandemic, though did not disclose figures.

UPDATE 10/09/2020: This story has been updated to reflect that Steve Sarowitz’s family office, 4S Bay Partners, invested in the round and not Steve Sarowitz individually.

Image source Unsplash. Photo by Jakob Owens.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast