Last night’s edition of BNN’s The Disruptors featured the CEO of a startup that knows one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Disruptors co-host Bruce Croxon interviewed Carl Mercier, CEO of VarageSale, about where his product began and the power of community. Mercier said his wife had the idea for a platform to buy and sell products with neighbours in the community, in an environment that was safe and also allowed for some social experience.
According to Mercier, 50 per cent of its mobile users use VarageSale every day. Mercier addressed what he called “rumours” that investors were pressuring them to move to the Valley, saying that it was a “no-brainer” for them to base their operations in Toronto. “They’ve always been very supportive of us being in Canada,” Mercier said. “The advantage of being in Canada is that you have access to a lot of great talent. Toronto and Waterloo are great places to recruit from and you’re not competing with Facebook or Google for talent.”
Currently, VarageSale works in 42 states, every Canadian province, Europe, Australia, and Asia. He says the key feature that differentiates VarageSale from other startups is the feeling of community and togetherness.
“So much more comes out of the VarageSale experience. It’s based on real people, real names and community, so people make friends or get together for great causes,” Mercier said. He cited one instance where a Tennessee teacher saw that one of her student’s feet were showing through their shoes because they were so old, so she turned to the VarageSale to ask for help. Every child in need at the school ended up getting clothes, shoes and toys for Christmas. “This happens all the time in VarageSale,” he said.