The Silicon Valley-based program on Wednesday announced the 31 companies that will comprise its 21st cohort. The announcement in TechCrunch noted that 43 percent of the companies are from outside the U.S., as the accelerator develops a more international flavour.
The news of Swept’s acceptance into the program comes days after WellTrack, the Fredericton startup whose software helps people with mental health issues, graduated from the 20th cohort of the 500 Startups accelerator.
It seems links are growing between Atlantic Canada and 500 Startups. Moncton-based recruiting software company Alongside went through the program in 2015, and now two others have been accepted this year. Patrick Lor, the managing partner of 500 Startups Canada, will be a keynote speaker at the Atlantic Venture Forum next month, and 500 Startup member Eric Bahn spoke at Startup Grind Halifax in January.
Founded by CEO Michael Brown and CTO Matt Cooper, Swept has developed software that helps cleaning companies perform their duties with greater efficiency. The company realizes that janitors often work at night, and some tasks are difficult to explain. That means there are challenges getting messages between clients and the cleaners. So it provides a mobile solution that improves communication between cleaning companies, their cleaners, and their clients.
The company began life as Clean Simple with the goal of providing a network of residential cleaners that people could book online. But as the company went through the Propel ICT Build program in 2015, its mentors convinced the company that its product should be its software, which it could license to Clean Simple’s competitors. Brown and Cooper changed the company’s name to Swept, and became a software company.
Early in 2016, Swept announced it had raised $575,000, and had become the first Atlantic Canadian portfolio company for the Toronto venture capital fund HighLine. The other investors included: BDC Capital; Stewart MacDonald, former managing director of Expedia Canada Corp.; Innovacorp; members of Saint John-based East Valley Ventures; and Halifax angel Patrick Hankinson. Clean Simple qualified to be considered for the BDC and Innovacorp funding because it completed Propel ICT’s Build program.
Swept will also receive some investment as a participant in the 500 Startups cohort.