BDC, 500 Startups commit to $1.1 mln seed funding of Rover

Rover Labs Inc, a Canadian location-based mobile marketing platform, has raised $1.1 million in seed-stage financing. BDC Capital and 500 Startups invested in the round, alongside a number of angel investors. Founded in 2014, Toronto-based Rover has developed technology that helps retailers and brands deliver smarter, location-powered mobile content. The company said it will use the funds raised to enhance its product and strengthen its sales and marketing teams. It will also intensify hiring in Rover’s Toronto and San Francisco offices. Earlier this year, 500 Startups launched 500 Canada, a new US$30 million fund earmarked for Canadian startups.

Photo: John Coombs, co-founder and CEO of Rover Labs Inc.


Rover Raises $1.1 Million Seed Round to Propel Location-Based Mobile Marketing

Also forms new strategic advisory board to guide growth

SAN FRANCISCO and TORONTO – May 26, 2016 – Rover, an innovator in location-based mobile marketing using beacons and other technology, has raised $1.1 million in seed financing. The round included contributions from BDC Venture Capital and 500 Startups, as well as some of the most prominent angel investors in the marketing tech and SaaS industries.

Additionally, Rover has created a new advisory board comprised of four of the industry’s brightest minds in mobile, marketing technology and retail. The board will provide strategic counsel and guide the company as it enters its next growth phase.

Rover will use the new capital to enhance its location-based marketing platform, and strengthen its sales and marketing teams to support growth. The company will also intensify its hiring efforts in both Toronto and the Bay Area.

“Location-powered engagement is the single biggest trend taking shape in mobile right now and Rover is at the forefront of this market,” said Stuart Wheldon, partner with investment firm Wheldon Brothers Ltd. and former vice president at Eloqua Inc. “Rover has a strong ‘location-first’ vision combined with advanced technology and a great team. They are well positioned to lead this space.”

Rover serves as the missing link between beacon hardware and mobile engagement. Customers such as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Proctor & Gamble use its platform to create and deliver location-relevant information to their app users that enhance their on-site experiences and influence their behaviors. Using Rover’s CMS, mobile marketers can build and deploy rich campaigns within minutes with no coding required, and its advanced analytics provide engagement metrics that inform future campaigns. Rover’s SDK is open source and compatible with iOS and Android.

“Our vision for the future of proximity marketing goes beyond sales and extends to the customer experience,” said John Coombs, Rover CEO. “To help the market realize the full potential of this technology, we are eliminating hurdles to adoption, putting marketers in the driver’s seat and enabling engaging experiences because that’s what ultimately drives not just ROI, but also loyalty.”

Rover has experienced remarkable growth in a short period of time. Since completing the 500 Startups program, the company has increased its client base tenfold, actively engaged more than 7 million customers per month using location, and expanded its product to become the most comprehensive location-first mobile platform.

New Advisory Board to Guide Growth
Rover has also created an advisory board consisting of four heavyweights who will contribute their collective mobile, retail, marketing, technical and business development expertise to guide Rover’s strategic growth initiatives.

Rover’s Advisory Board Members:
• Ryan Craver – Retail brand builder who is currently CEO of Trimfit and SVP of Lamour Group, and previously led department store strategy for Hudson’s Bay Company and Lord & Taylor
• Hansmeet Sethi – Mobile entrepreneur and startup advisor who currently serves as COO of Neighborly
• Stephen Statler – Principal consultant at Statler Advisors and authority in beacon technology applications
• Stuart Wheldon – Investor, advisor and former vice president at Eloqua Inc.

“I have witnessed firsthand the opportunity for the world’s largest brands to use beacon marketing and location to strengthen the customer experience and bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping,” said Craver. “Rover’s platform provides the ideal mix of location, mobile and experiences that will be a catalyst to drive this industry forward.”

Rover offers Basic, Professional and Enterprise subscription plans for its location-based mobile marketing platform, depending on the size and needs of the business. Find more information at

About Rover
Rover is a location-based mobile marketing platform that helps retailers and brands deliver smarter, location-powered mobile content that creates enriching customer experiences. Leveraging beacon and geofence technologies, it enables companies to reach consumers on their mobile devices with targeted content that’s relevant to their physical location. The platform serves hundreds of locations in a number of key sectors, such as professional sports, retail, loyalty and tourism. Rover’s SDK is open source and, through its intuitive and graphical CMS, marketers can develop and deploy campaigns in real time without coding. For more information, visit Rover’s website or blog, and follow the company on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Photo courtesy of TechToronto