CSI’s WOSEN participant, Troop, is at it again. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects in 2020, Troop recently participated in our Investment Readiness Supports program. Now, the tech-for-good startup just closed its pre-seed round of funding at $300,000.
“It wasn’t easy.” Troop’s Founder, Kelly Emery, writes on social media:
“I’ve spent the past 18 months building out a MVP, getting users and proving the product-market fit. I have a previous startup and exit under my belt. I should have been confident about raising, right? I wasn’t.
My frustration at the inequality of the system fuelled my drive to succeed. I met (virtually!) with 49 different angels, VCs and personal investment firms. With every pitch, I was fighting for the money, but I was also fighting for every other woman founder in the same boat.”
She’s right. That’s why we are part of the Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN). CSI’s WOSEN program supports women and gender non-binary entrepreneurs from ideation to acceleration to investment. Last year, Kelly participated in WOSEN’s Resilience program and Investment Readiness Supports, a program designed for social entrepreneurs who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.
She explains, “At the beginning, even the smallest ounce of support can be the catalyst for success. For me, it was the phone call with [CSI’s WOSEN Senior Program Manager], Mitalie Makhani, when she told me about the WOSEN program. There I met a mentor, that led to an introduction to someone who would become an advisor, and from there, the first investment cheque.”
Look at her now. This is what happens when we invest in individuals underrepresented in entrepreneurship:
“Today, I closed the round at $300K. Eleven investors are backing my idea and ME.”
More from Troop on the announcement:
Founded in 2019, Troop will use the new capital to further develop their software that drives community giving by connecting businesses and their employees with local needs. With 50+ charity and nonprofit partners in the GTA, Troop aggregates tangible needs and allows employees to vote monthly on the local needs they want their business to fulfill. The contribution is captured in a monthly Impact Report that is easily shared with staff and customers.
The round was led by Sand Hill North, a private investment firm that focuses on software solutions that make the world a better place, followed by several angel investors from the Toronto area, including former CEO and founder of HomeStars, Nancy Peterson.
“It’s fantastic to have this support from our investors and to be in a position to grow what we started with Troop,” said Kelly Emery, founder and CEO of Troop. “Customers and employees are demanding greater social responsibility from companies, but that’s tough for SMBs operating on minimal resources. Troop offers a cost effective giving program that engages all employees. Because it happens every month, the team develops a stronger understanding of the needs in their community and how they fit in. When it’s this easy to do good, everyone wants to get involved.”
We’re so glad we are. Congratulations, Kelly!
Need support preparing for the right grant, loan or investment opportunity?
Registration is open for women and gender non-binary people who lead established social ventures, who have a defined capital need, and who are preparing for funding or investment in the coming year.