Edmonton's Jobber secures $76 million for research and development
By Ishita Verma | May 1, 2021
An Edmonton company has come up with a smarter way to keep track of your business. Jobber, a software as a service company, provides clients with the tools to manage their everyday tasks, such as real-time scheduling, invoice creating, expense tracking, billing and quoting.
Earlier this year, the company announced it had partnered with global growth investor Summit Partners and raised $76 million CAD ($60 million USD) growth equity to help finance investment, research, development and marketing.
Most brick-and-mortars have struggled during COVID-19, but many home businesses have flourished. Sam Pillar, CEO and co-founder of Jobber, says by email that while the trend towards digital adoption in home renovations was gaining momentum, the pandemic accelerated it. Small businesses joined the touchless world, and a majority of the companies using Jobber would be considered essential. Jobber’s payment processing solution alone saw more than 80 per cent growth in 2020, processing over $1.7 billion in transactions.
“If your furnace breaks, you’re going to fix it. If your roof springs a leak, you’re going to call a roofer, regardless of the pandemic,” says Pillar.
In October 2020, Canadian Business and Maclean’s named Jobber one of the top five fastest growing software companies. And, by December, Jobber had recorded a 23 per cent growth year-over-year. The green segment (outdoor services like lawn care and landscaping) recorded a 32 per cent year-over-year increase in Q4.
Jobber has a global customer base and having headquarters in Edmonton means very little competition. But it also makes it harder to access capital markets.
“There’s not much venture capital in Edmonton, relative to larger jurisdictions, so they’ve sought external venture capital,” says Tony Briggs, executive professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Alberta.
The idea here is for capital ventures to be reinvested back into communities. It creates a feedback loop over time, Briggs says. The company has created a very simple product that solves a big problem.
“It [the business model] looks focused from a value proposition but it’s got a very wide applicability,” says Briggs.
So, it was only natural for Jobber to think about growth capital, before partnering up with Summit Partners. The investment company has an extensive reach around the world, and prides itself on offering resources to growing companies. It led the funding round with OMERS Ventures, Version One Ventures and Tech Pioneers Fund.
“We believe the home-service category is in the early stages of a significant digital transformation,” Colin Mistele, a principal at Summit, said in a statement to Forbes.
Since its inception in 2011, Jobber has grown significantly, now working out of Edmonton and Toronto offices, with more than 250 people employed altogether. The platform is used by more 100,000 professionals, across 47 countries worldwide.
At the start of the decade, Pillar was working as a freelance developer for small businesses. His “offices” were based out of two cafés — the Sugarbowl and the original Remedy on 109th Street.
“The experience really illustrated how much opportunity there was to help small businesses do a better job of managing their day-to-day,” he writes in email.
For Pillar, the idea of Jobber was validated when he met co-founder and CTO Forrest Zeisler at Remedy. Zeisler was also freelancing as a software developer. When Pillar explained his software idea to help small businesses, Zeisler mentioned a friend who had asked for his help with exactly that.
“The timing of us meeting was just perfect,” Pillar says. “Forrest and I knew immediately that we wanted to work on this idea together and see where it went.”
This article appears in the May 2021 issue of Edify