A Canadian startup today raised a sizeable seed round.
Kelowna-based Just Be Friends, an interactive social education platform that helps families and children connect with each other and their community, raised $650,000 from a “handful of private investors” as well as the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust and the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program.
JBF, which now has 12 employees, launched in beta last spring. It lets parents create a family profile and get matched up with other families. By promoting healthy, positive relationships and bringing like-minded parents and kids together in a safe, online environment, Just Be Friends says that it “works to unite people and change lives, one friendship at a time.”
“I’m humbled by the incredible support Just Be Friends is receiving, particularly given that women tech entrepreneurs routinely have a much harder time getting investment backing than our male counterparts,” says founder and CEO Janice Taylor.
Taylor, who has appeared on Oprah’s hit television show, spent four months in San Francisco at the Rocketspace Canadian Tech Accelerator Program before launching her company as a client of Accelerate Okanagan.
“Janice is a passionate social entrepreneur who has overcome personal obstacles, carved out a place of leadership in the still male-dominated technology industry, and launched a unique product that has the potential to change the face of social education,” says Lance Priebe, co-founder of Disney Club Penguin and member of Just Be Friends’ board of directors.
The startup currently does not generate any revenue.