Earlier this year, Vancouver and Toronto were named the 15th and 16th most startup friendly cities in the world, according to the Genome Startup Report. There are startups based across Canada, creating apps and technology to make consumer lives easier so take a look at these 10 Canadian startups to keep an eye on.
Drop is Derrick Fung’s second startup and a FinTech (financial technology) company. Previously he had success developing and then selling Tunezy. The Toronto-based entrepreneur’s newest app is based around customer loyalty and millennials getting rewarded for everyday purchases. Over 75,000 people have already downloaded the app, which has a three-step process: link your card, earn points and get rewards. Points can be earned at Uber, Walmart, Foodora, Aritzia and many other businesses.
Hopper is a Montreal-based startup and award-winning app that helps its customers get the cheapest flights possible. First people search for airfares and then Hopper will predict when the flight will be at its cheapest. Customers can choose to ‘Wait’ and they will receive a notification once the price drops. Or they can simply decide to ‘Buy’. Since its launch less than two years ago, Hopper has been downloaded 10 million times. This is a definite startup to watch (and to download immediately).
Based in Montreal, Sonder was founded by Francis Davidson and Lucas Pellan, as they believe travellers “shouldn’t have to choose between great service and an authentic travel experience”. Their website allows users to live like a local in luxurious homes and apartments. Customers can expect a personal concierge to assist with their stay from start to finish; plus quality toiletries, crisp white sheets, WiFi and Sonder guides with local tips. Current listings are only in North America, but expect this startup to continue to grow and have properties around the world.
Quietly is a “premium content provider, delivering data-driven strategy and editorial for brands and publishers”. It works as the middle-man between experienced content creators and companies such as Destination British Columbia, MEC, Herschel, and fellow startups like Foodee and Eventbase. The Vancouver-based company is run by CEO Dario Meli, who has founded many successful ventures in Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles over the past 15 years.
Proudly founded in Vancouver, Later is taking the Instagram world by storm. The website and app has more than 600,000 registered users and 169,000 followers on Instagram. Later allows people to visually plan and schedule their Instagram posts. It’s already being utilised by brands like Lonely Planet, GQ and Yelp. Later also allows you to search and repost from other Instagram accounts, add unique links, and collaborate with team members effortlessly.
Motorleaf is the world’s first automated and wireless indoor growing system. It helps clients threefold: by increasing yields, saving them time and money, and helping them avoid loss. The Motorleaf software is accessible both offline and online, which allows customers to monitor their garden, automate certain functions and receive alerts. Users can view their garden’s growth through easy-to-understand charts and share the experience with friends and colleagues. Motorleaf is gardening software at its most advanced.
Foodee is definitely a startup to watch. It started in Vancouver and has since delivered over 500,000 meals in 10 North American cities. Foodee’s concept is about delivering top-quality food from locally owned and operated restaurants only to offices. It takes the stress out of corporate catering and has meal plans to choose from too. Reputable companies that have used Foodee so far include Uber, Mailchimp and lululemon athletica.
Another Montreal startup, Transit has helped millions of commuters navigate their cities “without losing their minds”. Now in over 125 cities around the world, Transit allows users to look at all their options in one place, including Uber, bike share, car share and public transit. App users can also plan their route in advance on Transit. On their website, people can vote for which city gets the Transit experience next too.
Doubling its team to over 230 people in 2016, Bench Accounting in Vancouver helps small and medium-sized businesses with all of their accounting requirements. Bench pairs each business with their own expert in-house team, who handle all bookkeeping tasks using intuitive software. They also recently started a partnership with fellow Canadian startup company, Shopify, to help online merchants with their bookkeeping.
Top Hat is an award-winning cloud-based software company that makes mobile phones into educational tools. Professors can increase student engagement and transform their lecture halls through the Lecture and InteractiveText programs. These allow professors to ask questions, take attendance and interactively explain their slides through a personal device. Teachers can also use Top Hat’s Content Marketplace to find engaging content for the classroom. The company claims they get “butts in seats and hands in air”.