Ribitt, a local tech startup focusing on rewarding consumers for purchases at local shops in their neighbourhood including Peterborough, announced it has raised $600,000 in seed round funding led by angel investors to expand to new neighbourhoods with its one-of-a-kind collective rewards program for local shops.
Using Ribitt’s mobile app, consumers can pay for purchases and collect Ribitt points when they grab their morning coffee, get a haircut or buy holiday gifts at participating local shops. Consumers can redeem these Ribitt points at any participating shop and for the first time, users do not have to wait to to fill out a full stamp card to use their points. Every purchase, no matter the shop, adds to the consumer’s Ribitt points.
Ribitt Co-Founders Sana Virji & Ribat Chowdhury
RIBITT EXPANDING INTO TORONTO & BEYOND
Ribitt, Co-Founded by Sana Virji and Ribat Chowdhury, has more than 30 shops partnered in Peterborough and more than 100 in Toronto. Earlier this year, Ribitt launched in Roncesvalles and The Junction neighbourhoods in Toronto, and plans to begin its expansion across Canada in 2019.
“The future success of local shops lies in them coming together and leveraging their combined network,” says Co-Founder Sana Virji. “Participating in a rewards program at a single coffee shop is more effort than the value for consumers, so when local merchants in a neighbourhood join Ribitt’s single rewards program, they create huge value for their customers while giving them the competitive advantage of scale that bigger chains have.”
Screengrap from Ribitt app
Ribitt’s reward program comes at a time when neighbourhood revitalization and preserving local commerce is a key focus for cities across North America. While Ribitt says there are 27 million “mom and pop” businesses in Canada and the U.S., individually they leave a small footprint and are stunted by the scale of larger retailers and service providers.
“My café and the Ribitt app launched around the same time, so it was a great opportunity to cross-promote each other starting out,” says Lindsay Brock, owner of Amusé Coffee Co. in Peterborough. “Ribitt has been wonderful in terms of gaining awareness for my business and it is a great opportunity for any business that is starting out in a new community or is trying to grow.”
Ribitt is yet another success story coming out of the Peterborough-based Innovation Cluster. As a client of the Innovation Cluster working out of its downtown incubator, Virji and Chowdhury have been able to grow their team, launch their mobile app, partner with stores in Peterborough and Toronto, and raise investment through the Peterborough Region Angel Network.
They have tremendous momentum heading into 2019 and beyond.