For over a year, Hannah Freeman has dedicated her life to solving a big pain point for farmers and workers: finding each other and communicating. That’s the mission of Ganaz, the startup she co-founded with Sri Artham in the spring of 2017. Earlier this month, her vision got a financial boost. Ganaz just closed a $2.1 million round of funding.
Founder’s Co-op led the round with participation from Taylor Farms Ventures, The Helm, GAN Ventures, 122West, Grubstakes, and a handful of angel investors. Ganaz has raised close to $2.35 million to date.
Ganaz is a technology platform that connects farmers with seasonal workers, translating communications into their native language. Farmers can use Ganaz to post job listings and communicate directly with workers, cutting out the middlemen often required to bring the employer and employee together on farms. Ganaz also allows farmers to send urgent messages out to their workforce.
Earlier this year, Ganaz graduated from the Techstars Seattle accelerator with some seed funding to continue to grow the business. With the additional cash, Ganaz plans to at least double its five-person team. Freeman is looking to recruit diverse candidates. That’s for practical reasons: “I can’t do all the translation,” she said,” and more complex ones.
“It’s really important for us to have our customer-facing people very close to the communities that we’re serving,” Freeman added. “If you come from San Francisco or Seattle you automatically lose points in the mind of customers. Farming is all about trust, whether you’re talking to a worker or the owner of a farm, it’s about meeting face to face, getting to know each other, having them know you and trust you and that urban-rural divide is very real.”
As part of Ganaz’s latest raise, Founders Co-Op Managing Partner Chris DeVore will take a board seat.
“Ganaz is addressing a huge and under-served market of growers and workers, with a modern software solution that makes life better for both,” DeVore said in a statement.
Ganaz is headquartered in Seattle and serving farms up and down the West Coast. The company allows its customers to reach hundreds of seasonal farm workers.
“Because our whole culture of our company is about building products that create a win-win situation between labor and employers, we’re just constantly walking that balance beam of how do you make things that both parties think are amazing?” Freeman said. “It’s a balance. It’s not always easy.”
This story has been updated to clarify the amount Ganaz raised in this round versus to-date.