Toronto-based FutureFit AI (formerly AudaciousYou) has secured $5.7 million CAD in an all-equity funding round. Closing the raise in December, this represents the company’s first institutional funding round.
The financing was co-led by American investment firms JPMorgan Chase and Acumen America. Acumen president Carlyle Singer will join FutureFit’s board of directors as part of the investment.
Backed by its first institutional round of funding, FutureFit intends to accelerate its product innovation efforts and expand its workforce.
In what FutureFit described as an oversubscribed financing round, the other investors that participated were Juvo Ventures, Sorenson Impact Foundation, Emerge Education, Techstars, and Plug & Play Ventures. Angel investors Martin Basiri (co-founder and CEO of Applyboard), Blair Miller (founder of Nextwork), Warren Valdmanis (founding partner at Two Sigma Impact) also put in money into FutureFit.
A spokesperson for FutureFit told BetaKit that FutureFit chose not to label the funding round as seed or Series A, etc., “given market fluidity in the boundaries and characteristics sometimes associated with different round labels.”
Founded by CEO Hamoon Ekhtiari in 2019, FutureFit’s platform uses labour market data and machine learning algorithms to identify a person’s ‘starting point’ in the workforce, recommend best career path ‘destinations,’ and build a personalized roadmap of learning, resources, and work opportunities. The company claims its technology focuses on the “individual worker through an equity lens.”
When Ekhtiari moved to Canada two decades ago, not knowing English became a barrier that only added to the challenges of navigating the labour market. He explained that not only did he have to face his own struggles in a foreign country, he also had to watch his parents, who were skilled professionals, change their names on their resumé to be considered for entry level jobs.
“The opportunity to build a systemic solution to support people regardless of their background and empower them to reach their full potential in the economy is something that is very viscerally important to me, and has influenced our core mission and values at FutureFit AI,” he said.
FutureFit said the COVID-19 pandemic had a disproportionate impact on underserved populations. In response, the company is further investing in ways that can support an equitable economic recovery.
Backed by its first institutional round of funding, FutureFit intends to accelerate its product innovation efforts and expand its workforce to address the demand for career navigation and reskilling as people return to work.
FutureFit’s past funding includes $1 million in prize money from the TD Ready Challenge, which earmarks $10 million in grants for US and Canadian initiatives each year.
Feature image courtesy FutureFit