On the eve of the birth of its first transaction site, capable of comparing itself with Amazon, Blue Basket became a private company.
The name and position of the government initiative, which was born two years ago, at the height of the pandemic, has been purchased by the Agora Platform, a new private company founded with the support of Investissement Québec (IQ).
The government’s financial arm is pumping $12 million into the venture, which would be $22 million at the moment. This $12 million includes “the conversion into equity in an advance deposit in the form of a $3 million loan authorized in 2021,” an IQ spokesperson specified.
The state as a minority shareholder
The other three shareholders are Fonds de Solidarité FTQ, with a contribution of $5 million to the company’s share capital, Desjardins Group ($4 million) and Montreal’s Lightspeed ($1 million).
Despite the importance of its investments, the Quebec government controls “less than 30%” of the shares of the new entity, and insisted that the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon, be identified.
He added that all (shareholders) have a minority stake, which ensures his independence. General management will also continue to be provided by Alain Dumas, under the supervision of a board chaired by Sylvain Prudhomme, former President of Lowe’s Canada.
The government took advantage of this announcement to invite merchants to quickly register for its new platform. The latter should be ready in time for the festive season, the most important season of the year, said Mr. Dumas.
In addition to adding a transactional aspect to the site, the department is working to provide a transportation, delivery, and marketing system to help merchants succeed in this highly competitive e-commerce market.
Minister Fitzgibbon summed it up: “We will never make refrigerators or televisions in Quebec.” But I’d rather consumers buy them at a convenience store on Blue Basket than on Amazon. »
It was chosen very carefully
One unique feature of the upcoming platform is that it will be designed for retailers located close to where consumers live.
Will not post who wants on this site. Only Quebec retailers will be able to sell their products there. To take advantage of this, the merchant must prove that they have a place of business in Quebec, that their inventories exist, and that they have information in French.
In addition, companies headquartered in Quebec are required to prove that their shareholding is at least 51% Quebec. When the head office is not in Quebec, at least 75% of the operating branches in the province must be owned by Quebec (franchisement, affiliation, etc.).
how will you work The new blue basket?
Only Quebec retailers will be able to sell their products on Blue Basket. To take advantage of this right, the merchant must prove that he has an office in Quebec, that his inventories are also in place, and that he has information about his products in French. Standards related to the company’s full contribution.
Quebec Product Certificate
Once inside the Blue Basket, retailers will be able to sell all required items, regardless of their origin. However, products from here may be identified as such. To do this, they must comply with the rules of origin established by Aliments du Québec and Produits du Québec.
Shopping will be done in the same way (by keywords) as on competing transaction platforms. However, the Blue Basket algorithm will stand out for its ability to direct the consumer to businesses in their neighborhood as a priority.
Delivery / Receipt
Blue Basket products will be sold directly to consumers, without the retailer having to have their website. Delivery will be offered within 3-5 days. Retailers will also be able to offer consumers to pick up their orders in store.
Blue Basket Shareholders
- Investing in Quebec $12 million
- QFL Takaful Fund 5 million dollars
- Desjardins group 4 million dollars
- light’s speed 1 million dollars
- Total Contribution $22 million