B.C. startup Thoughtexchange raises $10m as activity spikes amid pandemic

Thoughtexchange employs 140 workers in Rossland, B.C. | Submitted

What happened: Thoughtexchange raises additional $10m following previous Series B round

Why it matters: While many companies battle economic slowdown, B.C. company reports surge in usage of its platform

A B.C. tech startup specializing in crowdsourcing ideas is now sourcing a lot more working capital.

Thoughtexchange (Fulcrum Management Solutions Ltd.) revealed Monday (June 29) it’s raised an additional $10 million following a $20-million Series B round initially announced last winter.

The 140-person firm, headquartered in Rossland, B.C., has developed a platform that can crowdsource ideas from groups ranging from 10 to 100,000 people.

Clients have included major corporate players such as American Airlines Inc. (Nasdaq:AAL) and McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCD).

With the pandemic forcing virtually all businesses to rethink the way they operate, Thoughtexchange reports usage in its platform has grown 600% since March.

“It’s a bit of a paradox in that clients will be facing revenue challenges,” CEO and co-founder Dave MacLeod told Business in Vancouver at the outset of the pandemic.

“And at the same time … we’re seeing an unprecedented amount of interest in what we do to make leaders’ crowdsourcing proficient.”

Thoughtexchange typically charges between $2,000 and $10,000 per month for entry-level packages.

But at the beginning of the pandemic it gave away its platform for free to any organization that needed crowdsourcing help related to COVID-19.

The platform allows leaders of organizations to ask open-ended questions to groups, which in turn provide anonymized answers that can be rated by those who may agree or disagree.

Because Thoughtexchange’s headquarters is comprised of three small offices in the B.C. Interior, it already relied significantly on a remote workforce ahead of the pandemic.

MacLeod said in March that meant the company was already well poised to navigate an acceleration in remote working as many companies shifted to working from home.

The latest funding round was once again led by Toronto-based Information Venture Partners, with participation from Vancouver’s Yaletown Partners and Seattle’s Voyager Capital.