Nudge Rewards: Behind The Deal With Brightspark Ventures
“Nudge Rewards’ founding team is one of the most dynamic, balanced and focused we’ve seen”
On November 15, Nudge Rewards announced it had raised a $5 million CAD in Series A funding allowing for the company to expand across North America.
Nudge Rewards allows retailers and hospitality companies to communicate with their frontline employees on mobile.
The Series A was led by Generation Partners and included participation from BDC Capital, Brightspark Ventures, StandUp Ventures, and new and returning angels.
The CVCA caught up with Brightspark to shine some light on how the series A unfolded.
Why did your firm choose to invest in this company and the management team?
Brightspark met Nudge Rewards’ team almost two years ago. Lindsey (Goodchild, CEO), Dessy (Daskalov, CTO) and Jordan (Ekers, CCO) have been working together since 2013, and they have since shown great progress as a team by bringing Nudge Rewards from an idea to a growing business. Additionally, the founders have proven that they can surround themselves with the right team. The Nudge Rewards team is comprised of impressive and promising talent. The culture is solid with a team focused on “winning.” The team understands its short-term goals in terms of product, customer traction, and growth, and appreciates the longer-term potential of the business.
What will the invested dollars be used for?
Nudge Rewards’ Series A will allow management to serve their customer base further and expand their presence in select Canadian and US markets.
Where did you hear about the company/opportunity?
Lindsey and Dessy were introduced to us by Michelle McBane from MaRS IAF, who had invested in the company in the Fall of 2015. We were impressed by the team’s drive and ambition and followed them closely until we led their previous round in July 2016.
What is your anticipation about this sector in the short term and long term?
The enterprise mobile software market is evolving as a younger generation enters the workforce. Millennials are not receptive to old-school traditional enterprise software systems. The new employees entering the workforce are tech-savvy and used to leveraging mobile apps in every aspect of their life. More so, this new generation has little to no patience for old-school enterprise software systems. If the interface is not completely intuitive and the program doesn’t immediately meet their expectations, tough luck — they simply move on to something else. For that reason, smart employers are saying goodbye to old-school business systems, and hello to app-like software.
The mobile SaaS in enterprises market is estimated to be a $100B opportunity, and it’s growing.
Is there anything particularly interesting about this deal that you’d like to emphasize?
Nudge Rewards’ founding team is one of the most dynamic, balanced and focused we’ve seen: one strong visionary and determined CEO, one skilled CTO with great leadership skills, and one sales/customer lead that soon became our benchmark for exceptional enterprise sales talent. To top it off, two of the three co-founders are women.
What is your exit horizon on this deal?
Technology startups are roller coaster rides that can take multiple years. We believe Nudge Rewards will keep building the business for many years with the objective to maximize its value, and that the team will go through many ups and downs along the way.
Tell us about the players at Brightspark who are involved in the deal.
Mark Skapinker, Managing Partner at Brightspark, sits on the Nudge Rewards’ board since Summer 2016. Mark has been an entrepreneur and seed investor in the Canadian software industry since the inception of the personal computer in the 1980s. Mark offers entrepreneurs an insider’s view to the scope and magnitude of what it takes to create and build a company from an idea through to a thriving organization.
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