The first full-service online marketplace of its kind, Voices.com  has been awarded funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario  (FedDev Ontario) through the Investing in Business Growth and Productivity (IBGP) initiative. It was formally announced yesterday that Voices.com will be embarking on a $3.6 million project to accelerate growth and job creation by supporting their markets, facilities, and technology. IBGP supports businesses that have global potential and that are pursuing innovative opportunities, which positively impacts economic development. This is the first Canadian project of its kind.
Originally started on a napkin at the kitchen table, Voices.com, a London, Ontario-based technology company, is one of the world’s top marketplaces connecting businesses with professional voice-over talent. Within just 10 short years, the company is widely recognized as a leader by stakeholders including customers, partners, service providers, vendors, media, and local community organizations.
Using the funding, Voices.com will follow a three-themed growth plan initially developed following a best practice model learned during its CEO’s engagement at RocketSpace, the Canadian Technology Accelerator in San Francisco/Silicon Valley, operated by the Consulate General and Foreign Affairs Canada. These three themes include Enterprise, Mobile, and Global strategies, and have been staggered over three phases. This is to ensure that each initiative is successfully launched, executed, and reported on.
The Enterprise, Mobile, and Global strategies that will be implemented through FedDev Ontario’s funding will jump off what was achieved with the Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII) loan in 2013. In addition to supporting mobile app updates and expanding the workforce, SOFII helped the company go global by translating the website and knowledge base into Latin American Spanish with other languages to follow. This new IBGP funding will see that goal through by enabling Voices.com to bring in Export Account Managers to service the global network of 250,000 customers from their head office at 150 Dufferin Avenue. These managers will assist in the translation of the previously developed mobile apps, in support of the ongoing “Going Global” initiative. Voices.com will also continue to grow its Professional Services group with these funds, implementing enterprise development. The company will significantly ramp up its go-to-market strategy with a particular emphasis of growth on its Professional Services team and two additional hires for their Marketing team. The Professional Services group has experienced year-over-year growth exceeding 500%.
“Over the project lifespan of 3 years, Voices.com will create 45 new full-time positions in the digital media sector and will invest over $3,500,000 into the Canadian economy,” shares David Ciccarelli, the CEO and co-founder of Voices.com. “This is certainly our most ambitious project to date.”
With roots in London, Ontario, the employment of this initiative and funding sets Voices.com up to continue its role as a model to other Canadian companies that are growing and expanding into international spaces. This IBGP funding demonstrates the government support that innovative companies have access to while they build themselves up in a way that will positively impact both the national economy and global markets for years to come. Voices.com’s home-grown success is an example of this.