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What You Need to Know About Toronto’s Booming Tech Industries

While Toronto may not be the first town that comes to mind when you think of the tech industry, Canada’s largest city has quietly developed one of the highest concentrations of tech workers in North America. In fact, only Silicon Valley and New York have more technology workers, making Toronto the third-largest tech hub on the continent and one that’s growing rapidly.

Part of Toronto’s success has been the arrival of anchor companies –major tech companies that attract large numbers of tech workers and create a tech ecosystem. But as employees of those anchor companies come up with their own bright ideas and branch out, startup companies continue to expand the tech industry and contribute to rapid growth.

Startup companies are the lifeblood of a growing tech industry. These Toronto-born startup companies are transforming their respective industries and contributing to the city’s booming tech ecosystems.

 Nobul: Disrupting Real Estate

The real estate industry has been a tough nut to crack when it comes to tech-driven disruption. It was a challenge taken on by inventor and disruptor Regan McGee when he founded Nobul, the world’s first open digital marketplace connecting home buyers and sellers with real estate agents.

Agents use the platform to compete for deal flow, while consumers get more information about potential agents than they would ever have access to outside of the platform. They see proposals from interested agents outlining their services and fees and also have the opportunity to see agents’ transaction history.

As the Founder and CEO Regan McGee told BNN Bloomberg, “You have full transparency. This is what people are demanding these days, especially Millennials. They want information, they want transparency, they want it tech-enabled.”

 Ritual: Improving Restaurant Pickup Orders

Food delivery apps transformed an important part of the restaurant industry, breaking open a sector once cornered by pizza and a handful of other restaurant types. With the launch of apps like Uber Eats and Door Dash, any restaurant could suddenly get its food to customers’ doors.

But delivery wasn’t the only part of the restaurant industry in need of a shakeup, a need recognized by Toronto-based app Ritual. Ritual allows customers to pre-order and prepay for pickup orders, speeding up the process and allowing restaurants to avoid large crowds of waiting customers – a need that only became more acute when the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

In major urban centers, restaurants can see 50-100 pickup orders an hour during peak times. Ritual provides a way for restaurants to improve their in-store fulfillment and speed up the pickup process.

 Wealthsimple: Zero-Commission Investing

Like many disruptive companies, Wealthsimple aimed itself at an increasingly important demographic: Millennials. It’s a generation that wants more control over its purchases (and its investments) and more information. They also come with the expectation that they can manage everything about their lives online.

Wealth simple has quickly become one of Canada’s best-known startups and one of the biggest robo-advisor companies around. Wealth simple changed the way that Canadians invested, reducing fees and giving retail investors more control and information about potential investments.

As the Toronto tech industry continues to boom, expect more success stories like these emerge from the city.

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