Toronto’s Nudge Rewards Lands $5 Million Series A Round

Nudge Rewards has raised $5 million in Series A funding, a round that’ll help the Toronto-based company expand their mobile app for team performance across North America.

Led by CEO Lindsey Goodchild and CTO Dessy Daskalov, Nudge captured one of the largest Series A investments raised by female founders in Canada to date.

“I do find it shocking that we are one of the few Series A investments by a fully women-led company,” said Goodchild. “But there are tons of women entrepreneurs in Canada that have great businesses that are getting to this stage of Series A readiness. I imagine the issues around capital not going to all types of entrepreneurs changing.”

The round was led by Generation Ventures, with participation from the BDC Capital Women in Tech Fund, Brightspark Ventures, StandUp Ventures, as well as new and returning angels.

“Lindsey and Dessy are great examples of female founders that have identified a gap in growing markets, are using technology to solve an important problem, and building a business with massive potential to scale,” said Michelle Scarborough, BDC Capital’s managing director of strategic investments and women in tech.

Goodchild launched Nudge in 2012 with Daskalov with the initial intention of helping companies better communicate with employees in non-desk environments. The duo added a third co-founder Jordan Ekers shortly after.

“As we started to work with more and more customers, we recognized this desire to drive performance and that’s where we started to really take off,” said Goodchild.

Focused on the non-desk space, industries like retail, hospitality, and food service are the company’s bread and butter. Nudge Rewards provides measurable insights around the impact that employees are having, whether that is a lift in sales or improvements to customer experience. It acts as both a content management system for companies and employee app for frontline managers and associates.

The app keep non-desk based teams in the know about new initiatives, product launches, training, and day-to-day information, while head office gains insights into response rate, level of adoption and knowledge rate for employees using Nudge.

Nudge allowed Compass Group—and its 515,000 frontline employees—a way to digitally connect.

“Those employees they don’t have access to email addresses or access to computers,” Goodchild said. “Now every employee at Compass is using Nudge and checking their feed before the start of a shift.”

About 80 per cent of the population will be non-desk by 2025, yet Goodchild said this group has been left behind when it comes to digital innovations.

“In the desk workforce, there’s Slack, there’s email, there’s all these tools that help us communicate and perform better, but that hasn’t yet happened for the non-desk space—the world’s largest employment sector,” Goodchild said.

“We are extremely dedicated to becoming the digital revolution that is needed for the frontline, non-desk workforce. We want to be the tool that brings them to the next generation through performance and digital management,” she added.

Roughly 75 per cent of Nudge customers are in Canada with 25 per cent in the U.S. and the U.K. The company’s current clients include Rogers Communications, Golf Town, Samsung and Choice Hotels.

With the new funding, Goodchild said the company will focus on its sales and marketing efforts in the States with the goal of jumping their consumer base to 50 per cent by the end of 2018. Goodchild also wants to double the 25-person team to 50 by next December.

The company also announced Alistair Mitchell, president of Generation Ventures, will join the Nudge’s Board of Directors.