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Corporate Venture
telus.com/pollinatorfund

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Investments

5

About TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good

TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good is Telus' corporate venture capital fund which focuses on early-stage tech startups that drive social impact.

TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good Headquarter Location

200 Consilium Place Suite 1600

Scarborough, Ontario, M1H 3J3,

Canada

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Latest TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good News

Virtual Gurus Secures $8.4 Million to Grow Virtual Assistant Marketplace Across North America

Mar 17, 2022

On Mar 17, 2022 New Funding, Led by the Telus Pollinator Fund for Good, Will Focus on Key Growth Factors, Including Machine Learning, Enterprise Account Support, and International Expansion, While Providing Opportunities for Underrepresented Individuals Virtual Gurus, a North American-based marketplace that matches organizations with skilled remote administrative talent while providing income earning opportunities to underrepresented individuals, announced the close of a combined $8.4 million Series A and non-dilutive funding round to support the company’s growth. Anchored by lead investor, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, and supported by other key investors including Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, The51, The Houssian Foundation and Accelerate Fund, Virtual Gurus’ cumulative funding since February 2020 now totals $10.4 million. “Over the past year, we have seen the immense growth and transformation of Virtual Gurus and we are excited to take the lead investor role in their Series A round” The funding raised in the Series A will see the team introduce machine learning into high return on investment areas of the business while continuing to expand its technology platform. The company’s proprietary matching algorithm is the core of its technology platform, augmented by administrative, client and virtual assistant portals that will provide each user group a robust experience. “Over the past year, we have seen the immense growth and transformation of Virtual Gurus and we are excited to take the lead investor role in their Series A round,” said Blair Miller, Managing Partner, TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good. “Virtual Gurus has made it their mission to provide support and opportunity to those who have traditionally been overlooked for quality jobs and resulting income, something that aligns closely with the Pollinator Fund’s pillar of building more inclusive communities.” “Virtual Gurus’ entry into machine learning will ultimately improve the quality of work, connection, and income capacity of their virtual assistants,” says Shelley Kuipers, Co-CEO and Chief Growth Officer for The51. “We continue to be inspired by the work Virtual Gurus is doing to drive impact and opportunity for underrepresented groups. The impressive growth and scale trajectory continues to demonstrate the market value and need for what Virtual Gurus is building. The51 is proud to support another woman-led success story.” The funding will also help to fuel the company’s expansion into the United States, which currently accounts for 38 per cent of the company’s revenue, up exponentially from 3.6 per cent only nine months earlier. Operationalizing an enterprise offering that is expected to change the trajectory of the company’s growth will also be a major focus. The enterprise offering will provide larger organizations with a complete administrative talent solution, from recruiting, onboarding and training of assistants through to coaching for leaders on how to maximize assistant output via effective delegation. “One of the most exciting things for me is that we are growing and scaling Virtual Gurus without losing focus of our North Star — our talent from underrepresented communities,” said Bobbie Racette, Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus. “Social impact will always be embedded into our business model. We’re proving that we can be a people-first company and a tech company at the same time, and our investors are also clearly aligned with that vision.” Virtual Gurus creates meaningful earning opportunities for people seeking an alternative to the nine to five office work week, while also priding itself on championing BIPOC people, people from the LGBTQ2S+ community, single and stay-at-home parents, and those with alternate abilities. Companies such as OutTV, Borrowell and 3Strands Global Foundation have realized time and cost savings, gained productivity and supported their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) goals by accessing Virtual Gurus’ monthly subscription service and leveraging the administrative support they provide. “Virtual Gurus is the embodiment of diversity alpha — a Founder and company that proudly expresses and reflects Indigenous values in building a cutting edge network effects solution,“ said Stephen Nairne, Chief Investment Officer at Raven Indigenous Capital Partners. Beyond providing access to quality work opportunities and income, Virtual Gurus also supports work readiness through the Virtual Gurus Academy. Individuals can leverage the online learning opportunities to upskill and keep up with evolving technology to support their continued development as a virtual assistant. With a dedicated focus on building and improving the company’s Talentplace platform, reducing reliance on third-party software, and replacing basic data management tools with sophisticated software to streamline processes, Virtual Gurus saw a revenue growth of 129 per cent in 2021 alone. They also reduced manual intervention and increased focus on clients and virtual assistant online experiences while garnering stronger sales and an increased pipeline of administrative professionals to support the growth ahead.

TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good Investments

5 Investments

TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good has made 5 investments. Their latest investment was in Cosm Medical as part of their Seed VC on April 4, 2022.

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TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/4/2022

Seed VC

Cosm Medical

$3.8M

Yes

Archangel Network, Fusion Fund, iGan Partners, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, Undisclosed Angel Investors, and Undisclosed Investors

1

3/15/2022

Series A

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$99M

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10

11/25/2021

Seed VC - II

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$99M

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10

11/25/2021

Seed VC

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$99M

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10

11/24/2021

Seed VC - II

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10

Date

4/4/2022

3/15/2022

11/25/2021

11/25/2021

11/24/2021

Round

Seed VC

Series A

Seed VC - II

Seed VC

Seed VC - II

Company

Cosm Medical

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Amount

$3.8M

$99M

$99M

$99M

New?

Yes

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Co-Investors

Archangel Network, Fusion Fund, iGan Partners, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, Undisclosed Angel Investors, and Undisclosed Investors

Sources

1

10

10

10

10

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