An Edmonton tech company has secured a US$60 million investment and says it hopes to nearly double its staff in the next year.
Jobber provides software to small businesses which manages things like proposals, schedules and invoices. The company has been growing steadily over the last decade. It has more than 100,000 clients but company executives hope this investment will allow Jobber to grow even faster.
“It’s a big deal,” says Sam Pillar, Jobber’s CEO.
“This is going to enable us to really compete on the global stage, the way we have been but with more aggression and intention to dominate.”
Right now, Jobber employs about 250 people with 184 at the company’s Edmonton head office. Pillar says the new investment will allow Jobber to hire 200 more people in the next year.
This growth is a bright spot in the middle of a business-killing pandemic and, says Jobber, highlights an economic shift.
Jobber offers products for home service companies. These are small businesses, often operated out of a person’s home. A recent report says these businesses fared better than many others during pandemic lockdowns. Many owners are also looking for new ways to avoid contact with clients and companies like Jobber offer such options.
Jobber’s payment processing service grew by more than 80 per cent in 2020. The company also reports new recurring revenue increased by 90 per cent.
“We’re just getting started. There’s an opportunity to build a truly massive-scale, small-business-focused tech company,” says Pillar.
This kind of investment is important for more than just the company getting the money, according to University of Alberta School of Business professor Tony Briggs.
“A high growth company like Jobber can make all the difference to a region.
“Those people go off and start other companies and it also increases salaries across the board because now they have more and more options. So it’s generally all great news.”
Briggs specializes in startup companies – something Jobber was not too long ago. A success story encourages other entrepreneurs.
“The fact that new capital is coming here enhances the trust that others will have to bring new capital here and supporting our companies,” he says.
New, growing businesses also help expand the area’s economic base, although Briggs points out there’s still a long way to go to diversify.
“It’ll take a while before those high-growth sectors displace the economic losses out of the more established sectors. I think fundamentally, entrepreneurs do that, innovators do that and that’s why we need to invest in them more.”
Earlier this year, Startup Edmonton said the number of startups in the city has dramatically increased in 2020.
Pillar recognizes the role his company plays.
“Obviously more of the same isn’t going to work in the future so we’re happy to be contributing to another way,” says Pillar.
“I hope it inspires entrepreneurs to realize that you can build companies like this anywhere. In fact, there are a lot of advantages to having an HQ in a place like Edmonton.
“We can do this kind of thing here and it can be an element of a successful mix for the future, economically.”