Plans to advance technology, invest in machine learning and increase employment opportunities
CALGARY, Alberta — Virtual Gurus, the talent marketplace that matches businesses with skilled and qualified American and Canadian virtual assistants, has secured an additional $1.7M in funding to accelerate growth of their technology solution, begin work in machine learning, and create additional opportunities for underrepresented individuals.
Virtual Gurus is receiving more than $980K from Western Economic Diversification’s Business Scale-up and Productivity program. The company has also secured an additional $700K from its very supportive shareholders including Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, the51, and other key investors. This brings Virtual Gurus’ total funding to $2.9M.
“Through initiatives such as our Business Scale-up and Productivity program, we’re helping western Canadian firms take their proven ideas to the national and international level,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “I’m proud that our government is investing in the growth and success of a company like Virtual Gurus, which is truly on the leading edge of developing innovative digital solutions that help address business needs while creating jobs for Canadians.”
Since the second half of last year, the company has experienced rapid revenue growth and the momentum is increasing. To keep up, the company has aggressive plans to bring on more staff and increase the talent pool.
In addition to staff growth, Virtual Gurus is investing in machine learning as a way to increase the efficiencies of qualifying and onboarding virtual assistants. Machine learning will also improve the matching capabilities of the Talentplace hub – the main tech engine that connects organizations with the back-office support they need.
“Virtual Gurus has entered a period of hyper-growth,” said Stephen Nairne, Chief Investment Officer of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners and board member. “Bobbie and her team have proven that despite a global pandemic and difficult economic backdrop, they can pivot and scale the business, while maintaining its underlying social mission. Bobbie has put the right team and processes in place to further accelerate growth and Raven is extremely pleased to provide additional resources to help Virtual Gurus fulfill its transformative potential.”
“Our North Star will always be our virtual assistants,” commented Bobbie Racette, Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus. “I’m excited that the technology we’re developing, including the potential for machine learning, is going to allow us to scale even faster and provide a better user experience for our clients and our virtual assistants.”
Virtual Gurus’ North Star is providing meaningful job opportunities for people from underrepresented communities including those of Indigenous descent, the LGBTQ2+ community, single, stay-at-home mothers, and those with disabilities. As of January 2021, 91% of virtual assistants were female and 40% self-identified as being an underrepresented individual. Virtual Gurus plans to grow its virtual assistant community significantly, with a focus on diversity and inclusion to create jobs for those who don’t fit the ‘typical 9-5’ mold.
As Virtual Gurus continues to grow, it will also expand askBetty, its live ‘tasks on-demand’ product, making it even more accessible across other technology platforms. These administrative tasks – think research, file formatting, data entry – are completed by virtual assistants who earn supplemental income through the platform. For more information, visit askBetty.io.
ABOUT VIRTUAL GURUS
Virtual Gurus is a talent marketplace that leverages its proprietary technology to match organizations with highly skilled Canadian and American virtual assistants. Whether organizations need a dedicated assistant, special project support, or help with occasional tasks, we’re your people. Learn more at www.thevirtualgurus.com | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
ABOUT WESTERN ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION CANADA
For more than 30 years, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has been working to diversify the western economy while improving the quality of life of western Canadians. It has a mandate to build a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation, and community development, as well as advocating on behalf of Westerners by representing the western perspective in national programs, policies, and projects.
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