Indigenous female-led Calgary tech company to expand

Virtual Gurus is a Virtual Assistant marketplace that matches businesses and entrepreneurs with onshore freelancers from North America

Indigenous female-led Calgary technology company Virtual Gurus has completed $1.2 million in financing from investors to accelerate its growth in Canada and the United States.

Virtual Gurus, which began in 2016, is a Virtual Assistant marketplace that matches businesses and entrepreneurs with onshore freelancers from North America using a proprietary algorithm. The company allows users and businesses of any size who need support to select their own dedicated VA based on their requirements. The technology behind Virtual Gurus makes it easy for users can scale up or down as needed.

 “When I started Virtual Gurus in 2016, I knew that I wanted to build a business that contributes to society in a meaningful and sustainable manner and to me that was through a social mission of creating employment opportunities for marginalized individuals for whom a nine-to-five office job isn’t accessible,” said Bobbie Racette, Founder and CEO of Virtual Gurus.

Funding came from investors Raven Indigenous Capital, The51 and Ryan Lailey, an active startup investor and Virtual Gurus board member. 

The company said the financing will further support its commitment to the Indigenous community by hiring in remote areas. 

“We are excited to support the next phase of Virtual Gurus growth and development. The company has flourished under Bobbie’s visionary leadership,” said Stephen Nairne, Chief Investment Officer at Raven. “She has developed a profitable and scalable business model that both reflects and expresses Indigenous values.” 

“We’re extremely proud to support Virtual Gurus as they empower a diverse and underutilized workforce – women. Women who for various reasons only work from home, Indigenous and marginalized women who are frequently overlooked and/or denied professional opportunities, women in remote areas, and women juggling multiple roles and responsibilities. As more women enter the workforce in their communities, economic health improves on both a local and national scale,” said Shelley Kuipers, Co-founder of The51, a female-powered capital organization on a mission to activate more female-led capital towards female-founded businesses in Canada.

Mario Toneguzzi is a business reporter in Calgary.

© Calgary’s Business

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