Showbie raises additional $7.5M, sees Edmonton as hub for future growth


By Emily Rendell-Watson

Showbie has successfully raised an additional $7.5 million in Series A financing, which brings the total for this round to $12.5 million. The financing was led by Rhino Ventures last August, with ATB Private Equity joining in along with existing investors and debt financing.

Showbie helps teachers transform their classrooms through tools that help create an "engaging and collaborative virtual learning environment." According to a press release, the platform is currently used by students and teachers in more than 135 countries.

"The local investment is really exciting because with each of these major financings the company will go through a transition to a business at scale. The people in our business going through the transition and beyond will become valuable assets to the region as a whole as they gain new experience which can be helpful to attracting more talent and sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with the community," Showbie’s CEO and co-founder Colin Bramm told Taproot.

"We intend to keep the hub of Showbie in Edmonton, which will enable us to lay down deeper roots locally and offer valuable career experience to those interested in the tech sector. Having these kinds of local wins can help produce the next generation of talent which can help the flywheel of more company formations and successes over time."

Showbie moved into new office space right before the pandemic began in 2020. (Courtesy of Showbie)

Showbie moved into new office space right before the pandemic began in 2020. (Courtesy of Showbie)

The company plans to use the additional investment to expand sales and marketing efforts, expedite new feature development including launching a new app, and improve administrator-focused features and reporting.

As it looks to 2021 and beyond, Bramm said Showbie is investing both locally as well as in international and regional business development "pods".

"We have nine people in the U.K. subsidiary now and are on the verge of a Norway-based subsidiary to address Nordics growth and regional support. We anticipate more 'regional pods' in the quarters to come," he explained. In the meantime, Edmonton will serve as the hub for company operations.

"In an increasingly zoom-like world, we've found it extremely efficient to hire extensions of our team in local markets to drive growth while managing the company growth through the scaling from Edmonton. Therefore hiring will take place both here in the local area and internationally. We also have an emerging team of employees we've hired in Toronto who have been hired through the Covid period and have been working remotely – many plan to relocate to Edmonton when it makes sense."

Bramm said "dozens of additional jobs" will be available in Edmonton in the coming year.

Showbie is the latest Alberta tech company to find success amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "At a time when many other businesses are suffering, this sector has found a way to harness the pandemic to grow the industry," wrote CBC News.

In January, Edmonton Global reported that tech companies in the region have raised more than $246 million over the past year.