North Bay, Ontario start-up launches local shopping app and expands to new markets
A North Bay, Ontario-based tech startup wants to make it easier to buy local.
A red maple started with an internet browser extension, which it launched in North Bay in late 2020.
With the user’s permission, the extension sees the items they are looking for online and suggests local business alternatives.
They expanded to Sudbury, Ontario in November and Kingston in December, and also have a new app available on Android and iOS.
Through the app, users can search for a particular item and One Red Maple will give them the option to purchase it from local stores.
Support local businesses
« Local shopping supports local businesses. Local businesses can then turn around and support the community – through charity, volunteer work, jobs and taxes. It’s a circular relationship and the foundation of strong communities, » One Red Maple CEO Mark Sherry said in a statement. Release.
Mike Savatovsky, vice president of community and business growth, said he has received a lot of support from the Sudbury Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA). Although it took a bit of convincing to convince some business owners.
« I won’t say who because I don’t want to embarrass the owner but, you know, they were pretty skeptical and didn’t really want to talk to us, » he said.
« And I begged them. I said, you know just give me 30 seconds. I demonstrated it and literally the store owner took off her glasses, looked me in the face and said, ‘You you laugh at me? How can I invest in It’s amazing.' »
Savatovsky said local businesses give back more to their communities than big companies like Amazon and Walmart.
So far, he said more than 5,000 people have downloaded their mobile app.
The company’s ambition is to become a global solution to help people buy locally.
As for how they make money, Savatovsky said everything is free at the moment, but eventually they plan to introduce fees for companies that take advantage of additional features that are under development.