ShopCity.com, with one if its two major offices in Ontario, provides communities all over the world with a turnkey "shop local" program that offers local businesses tools to sell and market their goods and services online.
Shopcity, a bootstrapped startup with $1.5 million in angel investments, functions on a freemium subscription model. Its tools are provided via a business control panel that enables businesses to promote, publish and sell online. Products, services and gift certificates can be sold in Shopcity's localized community marketplaces, and daily deals similar to Groupon are offered via email—plus, coupons and other promos can be published through Shopcity's site, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and even the business' own custom website.
It's a unique franchise-like model in which a user becomes a "City Manager" that secures the rights to a city and a Shopcity domain name (for example, ShopMenloPark.com). There is a "sizeable upfront payment" that covers local marketing costs and it operates on a revenue share model.
There are 8,000 cities in Shopcity's network already, many of those in Canada and also the U.S., where its second major office lies.
Founded in 2008, Shopcity is an interesting take on today's local and discounted shopping frenzies that are sweeping North America.