Calgary technology company provides access to jobs, raises funding

Communo is a Calgary based company that provides an online platform that matches talent with ad agencies and is offering free membership for all freelancers during the pandemic.

Additionally, the company is providing incentives for member agencies – one month of credited membership dues for every freelancer hired.  They are already experiencing explosive growth across North America, while needing to hire local talent to meet demand.

“The Coronavirus is crippling businesses, and despite being a lagging indicator of market health, the marketing industry is already one of the hardest hit,” stated Ryan Gill, CEO of Communo. “Brands have canceled and paused work across the board, and agencies are facing widespread layoffs as a result. Opening our virtual doors to do our part to help people find projects, full-time and part-time work. Our goal is to leave no one behind.”

Communa, which launched in 2016, was able to raise $3.3 million earlier this year for their "marketers-as-a-service" platform with offices in Toronto, Vancouver and New York,.  It is essentially an online platform that brings together freelancers to do the work they love.  It is based on a subscription model where members pay a monthly fee to gain access to a vetted, managed marketplace in which businesses can help build their teams by sourcing trusted talent easier, faster and without commissions from a large, global pool of freelancers.

They have arleady connected over 40,000 users with marketers, creative talent, and consultants and were able to facilitate deals worth $25 million last year and have already done about $15 million so far this year. The current round of funding came from Brett Wilson, a former CBC “The Dragon’s Den” panelist, Frank Palmer — founder of advertising firm Palmer Jarvis — and investors Andrew Kortina (Venmo) and Rich Antoniello (Complex). The company says that the latest round will fund Communo’s growth in the US and UK.

Gill predicts “in the not-too-distant future, many advertising, creative and marketing services firms will be deselected because they are too big. Clients will stop paying inflated hourly rates resulting from staff overhead and will refuse to fund resources not directly engaged on their business.”

Communo is expecting another $20 million of investment next year which would allow the company to double in size.  This will then create a need to hire more software developers, engineers, psychologists, social scientists and sales and marketing professionals (most of those roles would be in their Calgary office).