Atlanta-based Eskuad, a startup that provides a mobile platform for workers in field operations — such as shipping ports and construction — to create forms and reports announced Tuesday that it has raised $1.65 million in pre-seed funding.
The round was led by Outlander VC and included Mis Inversiones, a Chilean family office, and other venture capital firms. Some of the company’s mentors from its previous accelerator programs — Techstars, Start-up Chile and Tampa Bay Wave — were angel investors for this funding round.
The announcement comes 10 months after the startup was chosen to be part of the highly selective Google for Startups Latino Founders Fund, a program that provides mentorship, access to Google tools and a $150,000 grant to founders.
After receiving the Google funding, Eskuad began raising the rest of its investment, CEO and founder Max Echeverria told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. This was his first fundraising venture.
“Before, I only bootstrapped or applied to accelerators and in my previous companies, I bootstrapped until we sold the companies,” Echeverria said. But fundraising “was more complicated than I expected or what I’d heard it was supposed to be.”
Eskuad raised this funding at a time when investors are holding tight to their checkbooks. So far in 2023, investment funding in U.S. companies has dropped by 50% compared to this time last year, an analysis of Crunchbase data shows.
The slowdown for Hispanic or Latino-founded companies in the U.S. has been even sharper. Investment into those businesses has fallen by 74% compared to last year, from more than $2 billion through May 2022 to around $600 million so far this year.
With the new investment, Eskuad plans to expand its service in the U.S. and adapt artificial intelligence to improve their product.
Eskuad originally launched in Chile before expanding to the U.S. in 2021. It has headquarters in Maine and recently established a headquarters in Atlanta. Echeverria, who moved to Atlanta two months ago, works at the Atlanta Tech Village, the networking and co-working space for the city’s founders.
He said he chose to be based in Atlanta because of “its vibrant ecosystem and how close it is to some of the biggest markets we are tapping into.”
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