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Press Release

Pelcro Raises Seed Funding from FRV, Canada’s 1st Student VC Fund, to Acquire More Publishing Partners.

February 1, 2018

Pelcro Team
The Pelcro Team | From left to right: Andrew Morris - COO, Michael Ghattas - CEO, and Elyad Alaei - CTO

Pelcro is proud to announce that they are Front Row Ventures‘ first investment. Front Row Ventures is Canada’s 1st student VC fund, in partnership with Real Ventures, with over $600,000 to invest. Pelcro’s mission is to solve the content monetization problem by helping publishers generate subscription revenue from their audience using their intelligent paywall, powered by machine learning technology.

“This is one of the top companies we’ve seen out of McGill to date. Pelcro could become the operating system behind an industry transition to subscription revenue, and we’re glad to support them on the way there,” said Makoto Rheault-Kihara, Partner at Front Row Ventures and lead on the deal. Pelcro and FRV first met at the X-1 accelerator, McGill University’s startup incubator. After establishing a common understanding of the industry problems and what Pelcro’s vision for the future, both parties found it to be a perfect fit.

With advertising revenue continuously declining, including companies like Buzzfeed missing their earnings by 20%, and Ad Blocking growing rapidly and leading to a $40 Billion dollar loss in Ad revenue, publishers are in need of a more sustainable revenue stream. According to Andrew Morris, COO at Pelcro and recent McGill Graduate, “Subscriptions actually align publisher incentives with those of its readers. When content creators no longer have to worry about making money through advertising, they can focus on what they do best, which is creating great quality content. Meaning, subscribers get the best content and user experience.” Pelcro also allows their subscribers to manage all of their online subscriptions from one place, giving them the ability to subscribe and unsubscribe with a click of a button and without ever having to fill out another payment form.

Pelcro uses machine learning technology to determine which users are likely to subscribe based on hundreds of data points, such as a viewer’s device type or how frequently they visit the website. The platform also allows for A/B testing so that any publisher can choose the perfect message and price point. The New York Times reportedly spent $40 million to create their own paywall. Pelcro’s intelligent paywall can do all of that and more, with no upfront costs and minimal integration effort.

FRV’s investment will allow Pelcro to increase the number of publishing partners. “Our goal is to target a small subset of a publisher’s visitors and drive from them subscription revenue that is greater than advertising revenue generated by all the visitors. We are able to do that because the revenue generated from a single subscriber is more than 30 times larger than that of a user viewing ads.” said Michael Ghattas, CEO at Pelcro. “We are excited to be funded by such a passionate group of individuals that truly believe in what we are doing.”

About Pelcro

Pelcro is a subscription management platform that provides publishers with tools and data to drive subscription revenue from their audience. Pelcro’s data-driven platform is affordable and easy to integrate. It empowers content creators to provide subscribers with premium content and the best user experience.

About Front Row Ventures

Front Row Ventures is the first student-run venture capital fund entirely managed by students in Canada. Launched in September 2017 in partnership with Real Ventures, Front Row Ventures will invest 600 000$ over the next four years in 24 student startups. The first resource for student founders of technology-powered startups, Front Row Ventures is settling in Montreal before expanding to the rest of Canada.

For more information please contact us:

Andrew Morris 
Co-Founder & COO

Mobile: +1 (514) 655-7719