Fable Tech Labs, a Toronto-based startup that aims to help businesses test whether or not their technology is accessible to people with disabilities, has raised a $2 million CAD seed round.
The round was led by Toronto-based Disruption Ventures, with participation from Village Global, Globalive Capital, Innovation Grade Ventures, the Business Development Bank of Canada, and several unnamed angel investors. The financing will help Fable grow its team, build strategic partnerships, and develop new products.
“Fable helps companies and their products be inclusive, and we see great opportunity in that.”
“People with disabilities are uniquely qualified to say what’s accessible and what’s not. They live the experience,” said Alwar Pillai, CEO of Fable. “Now, Fable makes it easy to engage them at scale to make websites and apps accessible.”
Founded in 2018, Fable has built an online platform to connect researchers, designers, and developers with people with disabilities. The platform is intended to make it easier to create an accessible digital product. Through Fable, companies conduct direct consultations or test user journeys with people who face accessibility barriers.
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.
In 2018, Fable was awarded $75,000 from Communitech’s Fierce Founders Bootcamp Pitch Competition. Its current customers include large tech and e-commerce companies, including Walmart and Slack. CEO Pillai and co-founder Abid Virani were named in Forbes Magazine’s Top 30 under 30 list in 2019.
Fable noted that the COVID-19 has forced many companies to go digital, adding that many of these companies aim to improve accessibility across their digital products. The startup is looking to take advantage of this new climate in order to help businesses engage people with disabilities in product development.
“As our world becomes increasingly more digitized, engaging people with disabilities can be a real challenge, particularly at a distance,” said Elaine Kunda, managing partner at Disruption Ventures. “Fable helps companies and their products be inclusive, and we see great opportunity in that.”
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Etienne Boulanger.