Brand engagement platform Trufan takes in C$2m of VC

Toronto-based brand engagement platform Trufan has raised C$2 million in financing to help grow its free browser extension, Surf.

Toronto-based brand engagement platform Trufan has raised C$2 million in financing to help grow its free browser extension, Surf. The round was backed by Moneta Ventures, Magic Fund, Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes, Cody Ko, Cameo co-founder Devon Townsend and Shaw Communications CEO Brad Shaw. It is an extension of Trufan’s C$2.3 million seed deal in January, led by Moneta.

PRESS RELEASE

TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Trufan, a Toronto based company building products that improve brand engagement while directly compensating users for their data announced $2 million in new capital to support the growth of their recently launched, free browser extension, Surf for consumers. Participating investors include Moneta Ventures, Magic Fund, Hootsuite founder Ryan Holmes, popular creator Cody Ko, Cameo co-founder Devon Townsend and Shaw Communications CEO Brad Shaw. This round is an extension of the company’s recent seed round, which took place in January 2021, highlighting Trufan’s rapid growth and support within the market. This brings the total amount Trufan has raised to $6.3M CAD.

Ahead of their consumer offering, businesses have used Trufan’s platform to collect data directly from potential or current customers in a compliant manner. Businesses can create incentives like sweepstakes or discounts and directly offer these to their audiences in exchange for emails, phone numbers, app installs, etc.

The Surf browser extension, which launched on September 20, allows users to passively earn points for their everyday browsing, and then redeem those points for items and gift cards in the extensive Surf marketplace, including brands ranging from Airbnb and Lululemon to Whole Foods and Sephora. Upon launch, the product was named Product Hunt’s Product of the Day and since then, has had over 10,000 people sign up and over 250 five star reviews on the Chrome Extension Store.

Sabya Das, Partner from Moneta Ventures said, “I’m glad to have the opportunity to invest in Trufan once again in this round of funding, as they bring their newest product Surf to market. Swish, Aanikh, and the Trufan team continue to build tools and products that enable the future of first party data for brands and consumers, in transparent and innovative ways. The Moneta Ventures team has been consistently impressed with the execution and vision of the leadership at Trufan and we are especially excited about the rapid growth of Surf.”

In 2020, big tech companies earned over $500 billion from tracking and selling consumer data, while individuals didn’t receive a penny in return. In addition to rewarding consumers, Surf allows them to take control of the data that is shared – the extension provides users with an activity log that allows them to see every piece of data they have shared. Users can edit and manage the data they share at any time.

“I’m very excited to invest in Trufan. The management team is built of people who understand both what consumers and brands want. Trufan is building the future of consumer data and the best part: they are doing it right here in Canada” said Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications.

“Trufan’s vision is to become the leading provider of high fidelity data to brands while redefining the role of consumers in the data economy,” explained Trufan CEO, Swish Goswami. “From our research, we understand that many consumers are fine with sharing their data if there is something in it for them – and that’s what we’re aiming for with Surf. Our browser extension modernizes data retrieval for brands, while granting users a fairer and more rewarding internet experience. This has become an even bigger deal as the world shifts away from cookies and top social platform tracking, raising the importance of first party data.”

Surf marks a first new product for Trufan since its acquisition and subsequent merging of the SocialRank and Playr.gg’s products to build a privacy-first data generation and analytics product, in June of 2021. The extension is available on Chrome, Firefox and Opera and can be downloaded at joinsurf.com.

About Trufan:
Trufan is an industry-leading audience analytics company with a strong focus on first party data. They are building an end-to-end product to help brands grow and understand their audience while generating first party data so that they can activate their audience whenever and wherever they want. Trufan also houses the world’s largest social database with over 10 million audience reports and over 2.4 billion social profiles. For more information about Trufan, visit www.trufan.io.