Ottawa delivery company raises $5 million to expand across the country

by Krystyna Shchedrina

Ottawa-based Trexity offers local one-day delivery to small and medium-sized businesses and their customers in Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and Calgary.

The gig-based platform announced last week they had raised $5 million in a seed round led by TELUS Ventures to expand Edmonton, Halifax and Vancouver this quarter and test out the American market by the end of this year.  

Founded in 2019 by Alok Ahuja, Darren Schnase and Mathieu Bouchard, the company delivers small and perishable e-commerce purchases like high-end groceries, subscription boxes, meal kits, retail, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals, using bundled multi-stop deliveries. While drivers distribute goods within designated areas, they earn between $25 to 30 per hour, making Trexity the self-styled  ‘most generous’ delivery platform in Canada.  

The platform relies on an independent courier community. The Trexity delivery platform supports single delivery and multi-stop requirements allowing customers to scale their businesses faster — while keeping costs down with no extra fees or subscription requirements.

Alok Ahuja, Trexity’s CEO and a former Shopify executive with 15 years of experience in e-commerce, points out that the company changes buyers’ habits with this service. 

“Through online integration, when customers say, ‘I want this delivered locally,’ they are the ones calling the shot, not the merchant. Now, we are changing their buying habits because they know they can go to their favourite store and get it right away, the same day,” he said.  

Over 70 percent of merchants use Trexity as a standalone merchant portal, meaning there’s no integration online, and the stores let their customers buy whatever they want.  

Denser delivery area

After this, merchants upload from one to ten thousand delivery addresses in the portal, while Trexity plots these deliveries on a map in real-time. “Drivers are not picking up and driving all over town. They are going to go to a centralized area. We bundle deliveries based on geographic regions within a city. So, we created densely bundled deliveries where a driver will now go to a merchant, pick up around eight or twelve deliveries and go to a very dense delivery area and drop them all off,” said Ahuja.  

In 2019, Trexity’s drivers started from five to fifteen deliveries a day. Now, one driver completes around 25 deliveries daily, making up the company’s daily total of over 250 to 350 deliveries.  

According to Ahuja, the bundle delivery system enables increased efficiency and functionality, allowing the company to pay its drivers 70 percent of every delivery. And the delivery cost includes the cost for the pickup,  distance, and the time that will take for that delivery to happen.  

“When we launched in 2018, we were only able to keep drivers on our platform for an hour and 10 minutes, which wasn’t good. And so now the average is six hours and 23 minutes. That is how long we can keep a driver engaged. Because we assign them with a bundle, they pick up and deliver six or seven deliveries from a merchant. We give them another bundle when they’re on the last delivery.” 

Talent pool 

Ahuja said the company’s driver community and market merchants’ engagement are managed by Rob Woodbridge, who worked on launching Lyft in Canada before he became Trexity’s COO in 2020. Trexity’s general manager, Christina Malvinas, helps the company open new markets across Canada, implementing best practices from her previous experience at Lyft and Lululemon.  

Trexity has also announced that Brian Martin, investment director and partner at TELUS Ventures, will be joining its board of directors.  

Mario Mele, the VP of corporate strategy at TELUS Ventures, said Trexity unlocks new opportunities for local business delivery, allowing owners to evolve and meet the demands of a rapidly changing retail industry, opening new commercial avenues.  

Ahuja said that in addition to working with small businesses, Trexity has recently started working with big chain stores, offering delivery services. However, he added that the company’s main priority remains small local businesses.  

“We are going after what I call ‘the underserved’ – the businesses everybody else gave up on. We are continuing to uplift local economies, educating merchants and building the sense of a community within neighbourhoods,” said Ahuja.