On the eve of the birth of its first transaction page, capable of being compared to Amazon, Blue Basket became a private company.
The name and site of the government initiative, born two years ago, at the height of the pandemic, was bought by Agora Platform, a new private company founded with the support of Investissement Québec (IQ).
The financial branch of the government is investing 12 million dollars in the adventure, which would currently amount to a total of 22 million dollars. The $ 12 million includes “conversion into shares of an advance given in the form of a $ 3 million loan approved in 2021,” an IQ spokesman said.
The state as a minority shareholder
The other three shareholders are Fonds de solidarité FTQ, with a $ 5 million stake in the company, Desjardins Group ($ 4 million) and Montreal’s Lightspeed ($ 1 million).
Despite the importance of its investment, the Quebec government controls “less than 30%” of the shares of the new entity, he insisted on the specification of the Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon.
All (shareholders), he added, have a minority share, which would ensure its independence. General management will also continue to be performed by Alain Dumas, under the supervision of a board of directors chaired by Sylvain Prud’homme, former president of Lowe’s Canada.
The government used this announcement to invite traders to quickly register for their new platform. The latter should be ready in time for the holidays, the most important in the year, said Mr. Dumas.
In addition to adding a transactional aspect to the site, management is working to offer a transportation, delivery and marketing system to help retailers succeed in this ultra-competitive e-commerce market.
“We will never make refrigerators or televisions in Quebec,” Minister Fitzgibbon said. But I prefer consumers to buy them at the Blue Basket store than on Amazon. »
Selected with great care
One of the unique features of the upcoming platform is that it will be designed to favor merchants who are close to where consumers live.
No one will post on this page. Only retailers in Quebec will be able to sell their products there. To benefit from this, the trader must prove that he has a place of business in Quebec, that his inventories are located there and that he has information in French.
In addition, companies based in Quebec will have to prove that their stake in Quebec is at least 51%. When the headquarters are not in Quebec, at least 75% of the branches operating in the province must be owned by Quebec (franchise, affiliation, etc.).
How it will work new Blue Basket?
Choice of retailers
Only retailers in Quebec will be able to sell their products at Blue Basket. To exercise this right, the trader must prove that he has an office in Quebec, that his stocks are there and that he has information about his products in French. The criteria related to the company’s shareholding complete the whole.
Certification of products from Quebec
Once admitted to the Blue Basket, retailers will be able to sell all desired items, regardless of their origin. However, the products can be identified as such. In order to do so, they must adhere to the rules of origin set by the Aliments du Québec and Produits du Québec.
Purchases will be made in the same way (by keywords) as on competing transaction platforms. The Blue Basket algorithm will still stand out for its ability to direct the consumer to businesses in its neighborhood as a priority.
Delivery / collection
Blue Basket products will be sold directly to consumers, without the need for the retailer to have its own website. Delivery will be offered within 3-5 days. Sellers will also be able to offer consumers to pick up an order at the store.
Shareholders of Blue Basket
- Investment Quebec $ 12 million
- QFL Solidarity Fund $ 5 million
- Desjardins Group $ 4 million
- Speed of light $ 1 million
- Total ownership $ 22 million