Vancouver’s VendChat enters crowded field of Craigslist competitors

Published on Thursday, March 24, 2016



Vancouver sun article on e@UBC venture Vendchat

It’s becoming increasingly clear that whatever millennials are going to do, they are going to do it on their smartphones.

That’s why the young CEO of VendChat is optimistic that his new app will take off when it officially launches next week. Saba Mohebpour’s smart buy-and-sell app has gained about 1,500 users and 3,000 items for sale since it was quietly rolled out about five weeks ago.

Millennials show strong preferences for shopping from their mobile devices. According to 1,600 students surveyed by Forbes Magazine, about half had already downloaded a shopping app, the fastest growing class of app. Predictions for the value of m-commerce (mobile commerce) transactions in North America ranges anywhere from $140 billion this year to as much as $280 billion.

VendChat is hoping to get a piece of that pie in the space currently occupied by giants Craigslist, E-Bay and Kijiji, by concentrating on security and connecting buyers and sellers who are within 20 km of each other.

“We are already the No. 55 shopping app in Canada, which is amazing because there are thousands of shopping apps,” said Mohebpour, who spent 10 months coding the original app from his dorm room at the University of B.C. “We are growing really, really fast now and we haven’t spent any money on marketing yet. So far this is all word of mouth.”

Marketing will commence with the official launch next week.
Read the full article here.