This week, several Canadian startups have made announcements, launching new features, partnerships, and more. Here’s the latest on Canada’s movers and shakers.
Indochino announces plans to open eight new showrooms
Vancouver-based Indochino, a bricks and clicks retailer that creates made-to-measure suits, has announced plans open eight new showrooms this year.
Three showrooms will open in shopping centres across Canada: Edmonton, Burnaby, and Calgary. Five showrooms are also scheduled to open in major cities in the US later this year, bringing Indochino’s total number of showrooms from 10 to 13 across North America. At the showrooms, customers can design their own suits and shirts with help from a “Style Guide.”
Indochino, which secured a $42 million investment from the global apparel manufacturer Dayang group in March 2016, is also planning to delve further into markets in cities like Washington and Chicago, where the company says it’s seen a thriving online customer base, and open secondary locations in large markets like New York.
“This year, we’re almost doubling our showroom network as we focus on significantly expanding our experiential retail model,” said Drew Green, the CEO of Indochino. “As we continue to bring our unique showrooms to more cities and introduce custom clothing as an attractive and affordable alternative to ready-to-wear, we’re beginning to change the way a generation of men suit up, and that’s incredibly exciting to see.”
Mappedin partners with Simon to bring digital maps to over 200 Simon shopping centre locations
Kitchener-based Mappedin, an online indoor mapping platform, has announced a partnership with Simon, which specializes in retail real estate ownership and management, to bring digital maps to over 200 Simon shopping centre locations.
Shoppers in Simon’s regional malls and Premium Outlets will be able to access optimized search options, turn-by-turn navigation, and receive real-time updates through Mappedin’s solution. The startup’s 3D digital maps, currently integrated into in-mall digital directories, will also be found on Simon’s website.
“Ecommerce is changing customer preferences, and shoppers expect the same immediacy, ease, and convenience delivered through online shopping while in a physical mall,” said Hongwei Liu, the co-founder and CEO of Mappedin. “We’re excited to bring our indoor mapping solution to Simon to help guests search, discover, and navigate their malls quickly and efficiently, ultimately increasing sales and building loyalty.”
Mappedin has raised $3.5 million in funding to date.
TranQool makes its services available to students at Guelph University
In light of current suicides from the University of Guelph, Toronto-based TranQool, which connects clients to certified online therapists remotely, has announced that it is donating 20 sessions for the university’s students to speak with registered therapists from home this week.
In October 2016, TranQool also partnered with Ryerson University’s DMZ to bring mental health services to DMZ-based entrepreneurs and employees.
In a statement on its website, TranQool said, “we strongly believe that the impact of speaking against the stigma of therapy and mental health is amplified when students are given an alternative means of access. We want the students to know that they in addition to the campus efforts to help student’s mental health they have access to TranQool.”
TranQool is also pledging to match donations for up to $1,000 to help TranQool ambassadors at Guelph University provide students with access and resources.
TribalScale named Alexa Skill Builder
Toronto-based product and design shop TribalScale has been added to Amazon’s list of Alexa Skill builders. The list is designed to help organizations connect with the agencies, tools and analytics providers that specialize in creating and managing Alexa voice experiences.
According to TribalScale, the company is actively looking for ways to experiment with new technologies such as Alexa. TribalScale formerly won the first Amazon Alexa hackathon in Canada for its work on connected fridges with the platform, and has built additional skills and helped develop enterprise software for Alexa since.
“Today, technology isn’t limited to the phones in our pocket. It is on our wrist, around our neck, it’s the devices all over our home and work, and Amazon Alexa brings a new level of interaction to these devices,” said Sheetal Jaitly, the CEO of TribalScale. “The demand for voice interaction is growing rapidly and the number of clients requesting Alexa Skills is a testament to that. We provide strategic, scalable solutions for these clients by leveraging our deep mobile background and applying new user flows to this experience.”
Disclosure: TribalScale is the proud sponsor of BetaKit’s Ask an Investor series.