Moving to a new home is an exciting experience filled with new beginnings and opportunities. But the adventure of relocating can quickly turn into a nightmare if you get tangled up in a scam by a shady moving company. They could trick you into signing sketchy contracts, hold your belongings hostage or disappear with your possessions.

When spring rolls around, it’s also prime time for home renovations. Alongside the excitement of sprucing up your space, there are deceptive contractors ready to pocket your hard-earned cash without delivering the promised results.

Canadians face a number of risks when embarking on home improvement projects or a big move. That’s why Canadian startups Bidmii and MoveMate are teaming up to make the moving and home renovation process smoother, safer and stress-free.

“There’s a lack of trust in the moving industry,” said Jon Christensen, co-founder and CEO of Bidmii. “People are looking for a third-party trusted source to point them in the right direction.”

Bidmii’s platform enables homeowners to get multiple free quotes, hire contractors with secure payments held in trust, and provide reviews, making home renovations simpler and more transparent. MoveMate connects consumers and businesses with local, vetted moving professionals, allowing users to book and pay for moving services digitally with transparent pricing and customization. The startups announced the integration of their platforms to offer homeowners a unified, secure solution for managing both home renovations and moving needs through a single streamlined process.

“The goal of partnering with Bidmii was to provide a recommendation for a platform that has a similar mindset, where transparency and safety are key,” said William Preudhomme, COO of MoveMate.

Their partnership aims to address growing concerns surrounding scams in the moving and home improvement industries. Canadians are constantly being advised to be careful when choosing movers, whether they’re relocating across the city or the country. Both the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM) and Better Business Bureau (BBB) say spring is the target season for home renovation and moving scams.

According to a BBB report, home improvement scams are on the rise, with over 1,200 reported cases in Canada in 2022, resulting in an average loss of $1,900 per victim. The Canadian Association of Movers also highlights ongoing concerns about moving scams, noting the prevalence of fraudulent practices in the industry.

"It’s unfathomable to me that we still have people taking advantage of these folks and that’s what drives us every day," said Christensen.

“We’ve heard a ton of horror stories about moving or home improvement,” said Preudhomme. “You hire a contractor and never hear from them again after you send them a deposit.”

The driving force behind MoveMate was founder Lucas Francioli’s personal struggle to find reliable movers as a student. Preudhomme, an entrepreneur and former Uber driver, joined forces with Francioli to realize a vision of introducing the gig economy to the moving industry.

“People want to know what their move is going to cost upfront,” said Preudhomme.

MoveMate operates on a model similar to Uber, where movers use their own vehicles. They undergo background checks and training to ensure they’re suitable for the platform. Unlike traditional moving companies, MoveMate requires a smaller deposit upfront and only charges the remainder of the fee after the move is completed.

With Bidmii's AI-powered platform and MoveMate's user-friendly interface, Christensen and Preudhomme say consumers can confidently and securely plan their projects.

"We want to transform the way moving and home improvement happens," said Preudhomme. "By leveraging technology and partnerships, we can create a more transparent and trustworthy ecosystem for consumers."

Bidmii and MoveMate plan to broaden their services and form new partnerships to offer consumers a holistic solution for their moving and home improvement needs. As they innovate and grow, the founders of both startups want homeowners to look forward to a future free from the persistent threat of scams.