Kelowna-based entrepreneur Jason Lotoksi is the CEO and co-founder of Tonit, a motorcycle community app built by riders for riders. (Contributed)

Kelowna-based entrepreneur Jason Lotoksi is the CEO and co-founder of Tonit, a motorcycle community app built by riders for riders. (Contributed)

Kelowna-startup Tonit looks to make it big with funding from Silicon Valley

The Kelowna-based motorcycle community app has been downloaded over 250,000 times since its launch in November of 2018

Kelowna-based startup, Tonit, is a tech company on the rise and has announced its next funding round will take place in Silicon Valley.

As one of the only Kelowna startups seeking significant capital from the vaunted Silicon Valley, their trajectory to date has been meteoric.

Tonit, the fastest-growing motorcycle app, got off the ground with $2.2 million raised from Kelowna Angels and VCs such as Valhalla Capital and Mavan Capital. Co-founders Jason Lotoski and Paul Kobasiuk are passionate about building community and are deeply dedicated to their Kelowna network.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the Okanagan and recruiting talented employees hasn’t been easy, but we’ve been able to do it,” said Tonit CEO Jason Lotoski.

“With the advisors and if we raise money from the valley we’ll have the right advice to build a team out of Kelowna. When building a tech company in Canada you can save a lot of money instead of being in Silicon Valley, so I want to build in Kelowna as much as we can.”

READ MORE: Bank of Canada holds interest rate, warns economy’s resilience to be ‘tested’

Three years ago Lotoski purchased a motorcycle and soon realized how difficult it was to find people to ride with. He then created a facebook group to become better connected with other riders in the community. Within just eight months the group grew to 1,200 members and the inspiration for Tonit was born.

“I realized that people wanted to create these motorcycle communities all across Canada,” said Lotoski.

“Shortly after that, I realized we needed to connect the motorcycle community globally. So, I started Tonit.”

Since the Tonit app was launched in November 2018, the free app currently has over 250,000 downloads, 190,000 active users and was at one point the #1 trending app in Google Play and #37 in the app store.

Lotoski attributes the success of the app to strong marketing as well as the advice and support of the local tech communities, including Accelerate Okanagan, Atrium Ventures, Mavin Capital, Kelowna Angels and Valhalla Capital.

“A lot of the mentors (of the local tech companies) have built large tech companies and they really helped me solve a lot of our technical challenges as well as building community.”

With the money Tonit expects to raise from the Silicon Valley, the company plans to scale the business throughout North America and Europe and eventually build the largest motorcycle community in the entire world.

READ MORE: Straight from Dehart


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP issue warning after woman assaulted while walking in Rutland

On Saturday, the unknown man ran up and grabbed her in an inappropriate manner before fleeing

Members of the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP paid tribute Saturday to Const. Marc Hovingh of the Ontario Provincial Police, who was killed in a shooting Nov. 19, 2020. (RCMP photo)
Vernon RCMP honours fallen Ontario police officer

Const. Marc Hovingh was killed in a shooting on Manitoulin Island, Ont. on Nov. 19

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

The Armstrong Green Space Society is calling for the preservation of the Royal York Golf Course, which may be in jeopardy pending an application to use the land for a major housing development. (File photo)
Armstrong group calls on council to spare local golf course from housing development

The Armstrong Green Space Society was formed in 2019 after word of the development surfaced

A West Cabs driver is being investigated for an incident which allegedly took place this week. (West Cabs)
West Kelowna cab driver under investigation after altercation over his lack of mask

Passenger alleges cab driver became confrontational when asked about wearing mask

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Supt. Brian Hunter will be presenting first quarter RCMP stats to Penticton city council, tomorrow (April 21). (Phil McLachlan - Western News - File)
South Okanagan RCMP superintendent wants to set up dedicated prolific offender task force

Supt. Brian Hunter plans to use the additional officers city council approved for the force

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COLUMN: Anti-maskers’ message misses the mark

Following COVID-19 restrictions now could determine just how happy our holidays are

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read