Let’s trade, yo! Toronto’s Tradyo is a student-born hyperlocal mobile marketplace

Tradyo is a Toronto-based startup that aims to bring the concept of bartering and swapping back to a neighbourhood level.

The free iPhone app is the brainchild of four freshly graduated university students who wanted to trade cool stuff they didn’t want for cool stuff they did want.

“I’ve got tons of cool stuff wasting away because I refuse to throw it out and can’t be bothered with the hassle of Craigslist,” says Gracen Johnson, a Tradyo co-founder. “We designed Tradyo as a simple, convenient and fun way to revalue things like my nice heels that are too tight or my sweet old Raptors jersey, because there is not currently a compelling way to do so.”

Launched this week, Tradyo’s beauty is in its simplicity. The app determines which traders and which goods are in your area, and lets you build up a roster of choice swappers to deal with in the future. This is unlike Craigslist, which fails to encourage a lasting connection between two users, and doesn’t integrate any social features.

“We saw a huge value in letting users keep in touch post-exchange. It adds a level of treasure hunting to the user experience—you never know what you’ll find or who you’ll meet,” says Gideon Hayden, a fellow co-founder. “We want Tradyo to help introduce you to your neighbours and offer a unique, customized shopping or swapping experience in the process.”

To begin trading, upload an item using the iPhone’s camera. If you don’t know what to upload, the Tradyo Tour guides you through your home to remind you of items you don’t use, but could be valuable to someone else. Check your “Tradius” for cool stuff, wherever you are, using GPS. Arrange an exchange using the in-app chat function which enables users to share words, not personal contact information. Finally, meet up to exchange at a local place, and “Star” your favourite traders to stay connected for future exchanges.

Tradyo’s four founders came together last December through a new entrepreneurship incubator called The Next 36.