Toronto tech startup Trufan bags $2M seed funding to grow its browser extension that lets consumers earn rewards and money for sharing data
Big tech companies love to collect data on their users. Your personal data is a hot commodity for brands and companies that want to target a specific customer segment and optimize their services. For instance, the email address of a single internet user is worth $89 to any brand.
In 2020, big tech companies earned over $500 billion from tracking and selling consumer data, while individuals didn’t receive a penny in return. Now, one tech startup is trying to turn the big tech business model on its head by letting consumers earn rewards and money for sharing data.
Enter Trufan, a Toronto, Canada-based startup that provides an audience management platform to help brands and influencers grow their social community and sell directly to their top fans. Through its browser extension, users can earn rewards from major brands.
Today, Trufan announced it has raised an additional $2 Million in seed funding to accelerate its new browser extension, Surf. Backers for the seed fund 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.
Co-founded in 2017 by CEO Swish Goswami, Trufan helps 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.
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.
Unlike the big tech companies, 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.”