I’m excited to announce the closing of our Series A at Checkfront of $9.3M CAD. Led by Framework Venture Partners, the round also is supported by PenderFund Capital Management Ltd, Conconi Growth Partners and Royal Bank of Canada.
First and foremost, I want to say how proud I am of our team. Against all the odds, we have reached a new milestone together. We truly have something unique here, and I am so grateful to work with such an incredible bunch of people every day.
When we started Checkfront — before we had a mission statement and core values — our only goal was to create something meaningful that could help other entrepreneurs. All we knew is that we wanted to build a company we’d want to work at, in an industry we were passionate about. Simple! Or, so we thought.
Initially, we sought to solve consumer frustration of booking “things to do” with our families. Far too often, we faced email forms, phone calls that went to voicemail after business hours, and misfit shopping carts. Booking flights and hotels online was no longer a novelty, but tours, activities, and experiences seemed to have been ignored.
We set out to change that.
Fast forward to today, we’re now a team of 83 based in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Our booking system has transformed into a booking management platform with hundreds of new features and integrations. And with over 5000 operators in 128 countries, our operators have processed over $5.5B in online bookings through Checkfront.
Our customers inspire us every day. We get to support the growth of amazing experiences around the world. From dog sled adventures in the snows of Alaska to whale watching in the waters of the West Coast. From scenic helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon to camping in luxury yurts in New Zealand.
That’s what gets us up in the morning, or sometimes keeps us up late at night.
After bootstrapping for so long, why did we choose to raise a venture round?
I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved to date with so little outside capital. We have always been customer-funded and in control of our own destiny. We are fiercely independent and will continue to be.
As we turn a page in 2020, we promise to stay true to our core values. We don’t believe in growth at all costs. We won’t sacrifice our ethics — always team, and customers first.
We spoke with so many potential capital partners over the last couple of years. We had offers to be acquired, mergers, private equity, and more; however, none felt quite right. That changed last year when we met Framework. They believed in our long term vision, aligned with our goals, and the timing was right with the larger opportunity ahead of us.
What’s next for Checkfront?
We’re continuing to invest in our team, product, and our long term vision. We firmly believe that the best product wins, alongside world-class customer support. We have many exciting product announcements for this year, so stay tuned.
Andrew Lugsdin from Framework will be joining the board, along with Byron Thom as an observer. Kenndal McArdle from PenderFund will also be joining the board as an observer.
A special thanks to our early angel investors led by Rasool Rayani & Andrew Wilkinson, who believed in us when we were six people in a 600 square foot office five years ago.
PS: If you are passionate about building and supporting great software, in a thrilling industry, we’re hiring!