Panache-backed Communo buys LocalSolo, plans for Series A

© 2018 Communo

Communo, a Calgary-based community of marketing and digital service professionals and agencies, has acquired LocalSolo, a Vancouver-based online network for freelancers.

Terms weren’t disclosed. Communo said the deal grows its footprint and increases its member-based community.

Founded in 2017 by CEO Ryan Gill and COO Chris Kneeland, Communo helps members to share work, talent, resources and knowledge through a digital platform and co-working spaces.

Earlier this year, Communo was backed by Canadian seed-stage venture capital firm Panache Ventures. It said it is preparing for a Series A financing expected to close next month.


Communo acquires LocalSolo and opens Vancouver compound

Communo acquires LocalSolo in bid to become the dominant global platform for freelance marketing and digital services industry

Two new VPs based at Communo’s Vancouver headquarters in Gastown

Nov. 13, 2018 – Communo announced today the purchase of Vancouver-based LocalSolo, an online network for top tier freelancers. The acquisition is the first for Communo, as it opens a Vancouver office, expands its footprint internationally and increases its membership-based community of marketing and digital service professionals and agencies.

LocalSolo has a curated talent network of almost 28,000 member freelancers and over 9,000 employers and recruiters worldwide. The startup has operated in Vancouver for the last four years and was founded by Mark Fromson, a well-known digital project manager and successful solopreneur, and Stephen Hayes McCoy, a freelance senior development lead. The entrepreneurial duo now joins the Communo executive team and will be based in Vancouver.

“The marketing, advertising and digital services industry needs a platform that can service its unique needs and this is the first of many strategic acquisitions that will make big progress for our industry,” says Ryan Gill CEO of Communo. “There are lots of players, but few are checking all the boxes or making a meaningful impact – together, we can go further faster. We’re excited to combine the strengths of the Communo and LocalSolo platforms, members and, most importantly, executive talent. This is just the beginning.”

Fromson and Hayes-McCoy operated LocalSolo for 4 years but it needed full-time attention, Fromson says new ownership was needed to take it to the next level and provide the best possible offering to their talent base. They passed on several previous funding and acquisition offers, waiting until they found the right partner.

“We absolutely love the Communo team, their vision and the model. The culture of collaboration and sharing amongst their members is something that’s unheard of in our industry and it’s refreshing. LocalSolo freelancers are going to benefit from engaging in this community, not just for jobs, but industry connections, professional development and group benefits. It’s a huge opportunity for them to grow their businesses,” says Fromson.

The announcement follows Communo’s launch in Seattle in June, and the opening of a new Vancouver office at Spaces Coworking in Gastown, located at 151 W Hastings St. The Grand Opening event happens this Friday, Nov. 16, from 4-6 pm at Communo Gastown. You can register on Eventbrite.

The Calgary-based startup is welcoming conversations from the right institutional investors in advance of a Series A fundraising round to close in late December 2018. It has already received previous funding from the venture capital firm, Panache Ventures.

LocalSolo will continue to operate as the two businesses gradually integrate operations and member freelancers and agencies choose to join Communo.

Fromson is one of the first champions of the freelance movement. He has become a respected voice in the freelance and agency space, blogging, speaking and supporting tens of thousands of freelancers and employers with industry insight and direct connections. Hayes-McCoy architected and coded the entire LocalSolo platform and has assisted the teams of many agencies and startups as a top contract developer.

Ryan Gill, CEO of Communo, is available to speak with the media this week.

Media Contact:

Michelle Schurman

Communo PR/ Media Relations

[email protected]


About LocalSolo:

LocalSolo is where business and freelance connect. It is a convenient place to find local and top tier freelancers in 89 of the world’s major market cities. It is used by agencies, startups and local businesses who need high quality talent for contract and project-based work.

About Communo:

Communo connects people to projects and projects to people. Founded in 2017 by veteran marketing executives Ryan Gill and Chris Kneeland, it is the only sharing economy platform for marketing and advertising professionals. Highly curated members share work, talent, resources and knowledge through a digital platform and at co-working spaces called Compounds.

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