Trendi, Swede, Frontly the latest early-stage BC startups to secure funding

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Three early-stage BC startups secure pre-seed and seed funding.

Three tech startups from British Columbia (BC) have secured funding and announced the raise this week.

These companies were Vancouver-based TrendiTech, as well as Victoria companies Frontly and Swede, which both received capital from Edmonton-headquartered Sprout.vc from its Sprout Fund II.

Trendi has raised $8.45 million in seed funding. The financing was led by WGG Capital Canada and Florida’s Vestech Partners, which were also the lead investors for Trendi’s initial $2.25 million raise announced in June last year.

Founded in 2019 by Craig McIntosh (CEO) and Carissa Campeotto (CMO), Trendi’s technology focuses on eliminating food waste. Its BioTrim offering rescues misfit fruits and vegetables before they’re wasted and convert them into shelf-stable products.

Each BioTrim model uses various processing technologies, such as UV and ozone cleaning, dicing, pureeing, and drying techniques to create nutrient-rich material—either in fragment or powder form called BioFlakes.

With three BioTrim models in development, Trendi noted it serves a variety of industries, from farms and manufacturers to distributors.

In a seperate mission to disrupt the home renovation market, Swede has closed a $350,000 pre-seed round after the startup claims it has been bootstrapped for its first 24 months since it was founded.

Swede, which was founded in 2020, aims to offer homeowners a faster and more effective shopping experience to upgrade their kitchens. Its platform includes a marketplace of independent interior designers who have access to Swede’s digital catalogue of direct-to-consumer products and materials.

Swede represents CEO Anthony Stubbs’ second venture as a founder, as he initially created IKAN Installations Inc. in 2009. Similar to what Swede is doing, IKAN specializes in kitchen renovations, however the latter is tailored specifically for IKEA products.

From his experience leading IKAN, Stubbs said he noticed the difficulties that the average homeowner would face during their renovation planning.

Having seen explosive growth across BC, according to Stubbs, the company is now set to launch in Ontario. Swede plans to expand its service coverage across Canada. To date, Swede currently serves southern Ontario and southern British Columbia.

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Frontly is also built by a repeat founder. The startup is the brainchild of former Thinkific and Certn developer Patrick Kelly.

Another similarity between Swede and Frontly is that the latter has also raised $350,000. Sprout.vc also took part in Frontly’s round as did serial investor and entrepreneur Andrew Wilkinson’s Tiny Capital, as well as Vancouver angel investment funds E-Fund and WUTIF.

Kelly founded Frontly in July last year with the mission to help businesses launch custom apps within minutes and without writing a line of code.

“Almost every client we talk to has a dashboard or automation in mind that would bring them big value but they can’t afford the development resources,” Kelly said. “We’re just at the beginning of this shift in technology to make this accessible to everyone without hiring developers.”

Prior to working on Frontly, Kelly founded DropCommerce, an e-commerce platform that is integrated with Shopify, Wix, and BigCommerce.

Featured image by Jonas Kakaroto via Unsplash.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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