Toronto-based accessibility tech startup Fable has raised $13.4 million CAD ($10.5 million USD) in a Series A round led by Five Elms Capital.
The investment also saw participation from a group of several notable angel investors including John Ruffolo, who is the founder and managing partner of Maverix Private Equity. Fable did not disclose the other angel investors that took part in the round. Other investors include Difference Partners, as well as Toronto’s Disruption Ventures, which led Fable’s $2 million CAD seed round in July last year.
Founded in 2018, Fable aims to help businesses test their offerings’ accessibility through its flagship product, Engage. Fable’s services include tester recruitment, technical support, and compensation. Some of the assistive technologies that Fable’s community uses to interact with digital products include screen readers and magnification for users with low vision or blindness, as well as an eye-tracking solution for individuals with reduced mobility.
The startup is also launching a new skill development program. Called Fable Upskill, the program uses video-based courses to educate product development teams in companies to build more inclusive products from the start. Fable claimed that companies like Microsoft are “jumping at the opportunity” to use the new education program. The Globe and Mail reported that Microsoft began working with Fable last year.
Dona Sarkar, director of technology at Microsoft Accessibility, told the outlet that the partnership started with Fable working with Microsoft to do accessibility user research of Microsoft’s sites and services. The collaboration later expanded to include learning modules around how developers with disabilities can use Microsoft products to do their best work.
In addition to Microsoft, Fable was also able to acquire Meta and Walmart as customers. According to Fable, large enterprises have complex products that are constantly being iterated and improved, so feedback from end-users is essential.
“Ultimately, our goal is to empower people with disabilities to participate, contribute, and shape society. By working with companies who serve millions of users, we’re well on our way,” said Fable CEO Alwar Pillai.
Featured image from Fable.