Move over Kijiji: Dartmouth startup aims 'more convenient' new app at students
The team said specific networks, in-app messaging, and private inventories put Curbza above other buy and sell platforms.
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Students scouting for furniture this fall can bring the power of the curb to their phone.
Last week Curbza, a person-to-person selling and decluttering app based in Dartmouth, launched networks for every university and NSCC campus in the province to make it easier for students to find what they need in their actual neighbourhood.
“Everyone’s used to Kijiji or other things, but this is so much better because you can actually make sure you’re talking to people on campus,” Elizabeth O’Hanley, Curbza marketing director, said Friday in the start-up’s Tacoma Drive office space.
“It’s a bit more safe and a bit more convenient. You’re not going to talk to someone in Bedford if you were at [Dalhousie].”
O’Hanley, a 25-year-old Prince Edward Island native who recently graduated from NSCC Waterfront, said she joined the team about three months ago. Co-founder and CEO Scott Theriault, who is from Halifax and went to Dalhousie University for computer science, added the app has been in the works for the past year.
The app is open to anyone, but both O’Hanley and Theriault, 23, said unlike Kijiji it’s the specific networks that make it much more user-friendly.
The school networks may be open right now, but users can also create private networks to be extra secure so only people in one residence, group of friends, family, or workplace can browse through the property up for grabs.
In-app messaging means users also never have to give out their email or phone number, O’Hanley said, adding they’d like to do as much as possible within the app like adding bank transfers.
The other advantage of the app is an inventory system, Theriault said, where you can take photos of your valuables and keep them in a private “stash” until you’re ready to part with something by sending it to the “marketplace” for sale.
Besides just selling items, O’Hanley said an inventory is useful for insurance or theft purposes, rather than having a string of ads you have to keep checking on in Kijiji.
Halifax was the ideal place to set up because of the “start-up community,” O'Hanley said, and 23 colleges and universities within just hours of each other across N.S.
The pair hope the app will always remain free for regular users, and raised $83,000 in their recent fundraising round.
They have 150 downloads so far, and Theriault said he just wants to see it helping people move in and out of campus, or anywhere in Halifax, while also aiming international.
“We’d like to be the world’s decluttering app,” O’Hanley said with a smile.
Curbza is available on Google Play and the App Store.