SME Universe |  the revolutionary duck

SME Universe | the revolutionary duck

Just 18 months after its birth, the plastic ugly duckling is filling up to look more and more like a swan.

Posted at 9:00 am

marc tison

marc tison

The firm specializing in content management systems RubberDuck CMS, founded at the beginning of 2020, has seen its turnover triple since the beginning of 2022.

The young company from Mascouche offers a “revolutionary” platform for the creation and publication of websites, a particularly busy sector of activity.

He has just completed a fundraising campaign that has allowed him to raise a million dollars from private investors. This pot will “secure our workforce to ensure we don’t lose our good and wonderful employees, and develop our advertising campaigns outside of Quebec,” says company founder Jonathan Thiffault.

The birth

rubber duck? Ce nom, qui ne doit rien à Andersen, provient de cette habitude qu’ont les programeurs de repérer les erreurs dans leurs lignes de programming en les récitant à voix haute devant un collègue, or à défaut devant a petit canard de plastique déposé sur leur office.

The company originated from the Cameleon firm, which spent 20 years designing websites for communication and advertising agencies in Quebec.

With its technology beginning to age, the company asked a dozen agencies what would be the ideal features of a fast and easy-to-use web design platform. Armed with this “shopping list,” the Cameleon team tested more than 200 platforms, none of which “were able to deliver even half the functionality that agencies requested,” says Jonathan Thiffault. We challenge ourselves to build it ourselves. »

The preview version, completed in 2019, was so promising that Cameleon’s client agencies told him that they would no longer need his services to design their own clients’ websites.

The conclusion quickly emerged: “Instead of selling website building services, we are going to sell the platform that enables website building. »

Jonathan Thiffault then founded RubberDuck and transferred most of the Cameleon staff there.


The Good RubberDuck Team

faster and better

“What agencies want is to build websites faster, thereby costing them less in terms of manpower, without sacrificing quality,” Jonathan Thiffault describes.

“Right now, it’s the agency ordeal. With platforms that allow you to make websites relatively quickly, the quality level of the site is pathetic. »

The most powerful tools require technical skills generally reserved for programmers or web designers.

“It’s really in this kind of in-between that we come to nest,” he adds.

“Basically, we let Joe Plombier and the electrician have a high-quality website, produced super fast. We are talking half a day to a day normally to build a website with RubberDuck. It’s going to cost you $500, $1,000, $2,000 tops, and you’ve got the best website you’ve ever had. »

weird business model

The business model is also extremely rare in the world of content management systems. RubberDuck’s direct clients (agencies, freelance designers) use their platform for free to create websites for their own clients.

It is the latter who pay a monthly subscription to RubberDuck, which grants a discount to the agencies.

start of canyon

After some testing to develop their marketing strategy, RubberDuck offered their platform to potential customers.

“Quickly, in three months, we reached 150 partner agencies in Quebec,” reports Jonathan Thiffault. One out of every two agencies that RubberDuck saw decided to sign up. »

A new “self-service” version of the platform will be released this week, which installs without the intervention of RubberDuck staff.


One of the essential features of the RubberDuck platform is its ability to create multilingual sites, a key concern in Quebec, but ignored by US competitors. This is also a marked advantage on the European continent, where RubberDuck hopes to spread its rubber wings.

“With all the neighboring countries, it is really something very important for them. They have no solution at the moment. It is a market that we will be able to penetrate with this differentiator. »

Already, on their own initiative, an American agency and a British agency have applied to establish a partnership with RubberDuck.

In short, everything floats.

As long as you expand…


Arche installed in the offices of the firm Vention, in Montreal

Arch as in architecture. Well, the two words have nothing in common, but the fact is that it is with a large round arch, like a refined Romanesque arch, that the firm Blanchette Architectes marked the expansion and interior design of the firm’s offices. Montreal Vention, specialized in industrial automation, which has almost doubled its workforce in the last year. To occupy the vast interior space of the old factory, the architects created a gathering place in its center, like the towns of old, huddled around their church. Vention has added more than 15,000 square feet.two on two floors at its facilities in the Montreal neighborhood of Saint-Henri.

The work, completed last June, met the budget of $80/fttwo. Founded in 2016, Vention has more than 3,000 clients on five continents and in 25 industry sectors. It opened offices in Berlin in 2021 and in Boston in 2022. Labor shortages in manufacturing companies are increasing the need for automation. “Last year alone (August 2021 to July 2022), we hired 147 employees across our three offices,” Vention marketing manager Sophie Ducharme reported via email. The company now employs more than 330 people.

After Verre Select, the American giant ODL buys Robover

The announcement was made quietly and transparently, but in English: US decorative glass for doors and windows, Zeeland, Michigan-based ODL, announced on August 11 that it had acquired Quebec-based insulating glass maker Robover. Founded in 1999 by Pierre Tardif, the Quebec family business has been run by his daughter Anne Tardif since 2009. Its clientele is mainly made up of window and door manufacturers and glaziers. Anne Tardif indicated in the press release issued by ODL that this association ensures the future growth of her company and will allow her to improve her product lines and processes and extend her reach in Canada and beyond the border.

ODL has indicated that it will retain Robover’s facilities and employees. This is the second acquisition on Quebec land for ODL. The American giant had already crossed the threshold last January by buying the glass door and decorative glass manufacturer Verre Select, from Terrebonne. In addition to Canada and the United States, ODL has production sites in Mexico, Europe and Asia.

120 candles for Urgell Bourgie

It’s party time in Urgel Bourgie. Celebrations are always difficult to express in the funeral services sector, but the thanatologist nevertheless intends to celebrate his 120me anniversary. Founded in 1902, the jubilee company wants to take advantage of the event to demystify several topics that usually cause dead time in the conversation. “We take advantage of our 120me anniversary in order to open up dialogue and deconstruct taboos about funeral services so that everyone feels comfortable talking about it,” said Patrice Chavegros, CEO of Urgel Bourgie/Athos, in a press release.

The company plans to host several events over the next year that will allow all attendees to directly address issues related to rituals, cemeteries and disposal methods. Open days and a festival of lights are planned. Urgel Bourgie somehow buried his single life when she married Athos Services Commémoratifs in 2012. Athos has 21 funeral homes and multifunctional complexes in Quebec, as well as five cemeteries. The company employs more than 400 people.

8 out of 10

This is the proportion (82%) of Quebec consumers who say they are placing as many or more takeout orders in 2022 than they were last year, according to a new report from DoorDash and Restaurants Canada.

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