Tech start-up Clutch finds success in Halifax

February 13, 2019

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Clutch Co-founders Stephen Seibel, Chris Dolinski & Andrew Dolinski

When the founders of Toronto-based tech company Clutch were deciding where to launch their business, it was the low start-up costs and reduced market competition that drew them to Halifax. “Halifax has made launching a business really affordable and really easy,” says Stephen Seibel, Clutch Co-founder and CEO.

That ease and affordability has helped Clutch experience significant growth since their launch in 2017.

Seibel, along with Co-founders Andrew Dolinski and Chris Dolinski, are on a mission to reinvent the way people buy cars. They were frustrated with the traditional dealership model, where customers are faced with limited finance options, hard-selling tactics, and bad deals. It was this frustration that led them to create Clutch – an online dealership aimed at making the car-buying experience convenient and painless.

Customers can browse the Clutch inventory on their website, and have vehicles driven to their home for a free test-drive. By reaching out directly to customers online, Clutch can offer a better deal – on average $2,000 less than the dealership price.

While Toronto offered market potential, Seibel says that high operating costs made it a challenging location to launch their company. So, they focused their sights on the Halifax market. Once they began to grow their business here, they were amazed at the support they received from the community.

“Nova Scotians want to see small businesses succeed and grow. The customer is your friend.” Word-of-mouth has been a huge asset to the company’s growth. It’s something that sets the city apart, says Seibel.

“There is an ‘east coast mentality’ – people find something good and want to share it with everybody. This is unique compared to some cities where people discover things and want to keep it to themselves. People here become spokespersons for us, for all of their family and their friends.”

While Clutch will continue to grow their business in Halifax, they have big plans for expansion. They will be expanding operations in Vancouver and Montreal this year, and in Toronto in 2020. With Halifax as their launching pad, Clutch plans to open up shop in all major cities across Canada by 2022.

To learn more about Clutch, visit their website.