POTLOC, the Montreal startup trying to give citizens a say in the location and type of businesses in their neighborhood, has received $800,000 in seed round funding. In addition to closing their funding, POTLOC took the opportunity to announce a new partnership with the Desjardins Group as well as the company’s expansion to France.
Founded in 2014 by Louis Delaoustre and Rodolphe Barrere, POTLOC allows users to choose the next businesses in their neighborhood through voting. While the majority of major players in the retail industry are working with the same generic macroeconomic data, POTLOC’s model introduces a new level of customer data: consumers’ intentions.
“Typically, the traditional data will allow you to discover the need for a coffee shop in the area. With POTLOC, you’ll know whether it’s a Tim Hortons, a Starbucks, or an independent coffee shop,” Rodolphe Barrere, Co-CEO of POTLOC said in a press release.
POTLOC then markets this information to cities, real estate owners, and merchants to ensure the right business opens in the right location according to consumer desires.
A graduate of InnocitéMTL in June 2016, POTLOC has since dealt with several municipalities within Quebec (Montreal, Joliette, Lévis) and real estate managers (First Capital, Cogir, BTB).
— InnoCité MTL (@InnoCiteMTL) February 3, 2017
“The financing target announced at Demo Day was quickly surpassed, and the round closed at $800,000. We have gathered relevant investors for POTLOC across the board, an accomplishment of which we are very proud,” said Barrere.
The round brought together important business figures from across Quebec, including Robert Dutton (formerly CEO of Rona), Guillaume Jacquet (formerly Teralys Capital and current CEO of Chronogolf), and the Business Development Bank of Canada Venture Capital fund.
With the financing, POTLOC will be able to double the size of its team and start developing in France, where they recently opened a new office in Lille.
“France represents an extraordinary opportunity for POTLOC. The problems are the same as in Quebec and the market is bigger.”
At the same time, the company has announced a major partnership with the Desjardins Group. Desjardins will promote the platform to its entire network of members, customers, and employees while offering its products and payment solutions to POTLOC customers.
Original quotes featured in the press release were in French and have been translated to English.