About Us

Selling online is hard, and it’s getting even harder.

Today, selling online as an independent retailer is harder than ever. Advertising costs are rising while low-cost sourcing is becoming history. This is creating a rising average C.A.C (Cost to Acquire Customer). Competition is rising and with the globalization of commerce and hastening of shipping times, local selling is becoming less appealing to customers as a value proposition.

With large companies such as Amazon gaining more and more of an ability to have vertical integration of their supply chains, there is an increasing pressure to optimize online shopping platforms.

Without smarter selling online, most independent eCommerce stores will fail.

We want to help make it easier.

We’re committed to helping eCommerce businesses gain the knowledge and tools they need to go up against the big players. With our ever-improving toolbox, we will help merchants improve their odds of success against the large retailers.

We draw upon 15 years of eCommerce experience.

Fera A.I. (originally called Banana Stand) was founded by Jay El-Kaake, a veteran in the eCommerce space and former CEO and co-founder of Smile IO. He has been helping merchants become more competitive and succeed online since 2003.

With a knack for business and passion for coding, Jay began consulting for eCommerce retailers at an early age. Jay started consulting during his undergraduate studies, and his small consulting business evolved into the most popular loyalty platform for eCommerce merchants worldwide (Smile IO).

Today over 100,000 merchants around the world use software founded by Jay.

Later Jay stepped down as CEO of Smile IO to attend graduate school and spent time working intimately with and consulting for several merchants where he learned about the strong benefits of social proof and loyalty, and decided that there is a heavy lack of tools available to businesses that aren’t in the S&P 500. He set out to build Fera through the Communitech Edge program to solve that problem.

Today he and his team passionately help merchants harness the social proof and urgency psychology of customers to increase sales. After only a few months Fera is already being used by over 10,000 merchants worldwide.

We will help merchants succeed even if it means we don’t make money.

Our mission is to help eCommerce merchants succeed and thrive in this difficult ecosystem of online commerce even if we don’t make any money. Our belief is that by making our clients more successful we will enable ourselves to become more successful in the long run. This strategy, though difficult to follow at times, aligns our incentives and keeps us focused on being helpful.

Our Core Beliefs

Our clients come first.

If we’re ever wondering what to do or how to approach something that is used by our merchants, we must always ask, “Why is this better for our clients?” The answer will lead us to building better client solutions, which will lead to our own success in the long run. Our founders are not interested in making money at anyone’s expense. We both win, or we don’t - no exceptions.

Innovate without limits.

We must always be looking at new and innovative ways to help our clients succeed. When we see barriers, we must always ask “why?” Innovation will keep us and our clients ahead of the curve. Innovation is the only way to stay competitive indefinitely and come up with new ways to improve our lives. Plus, it’s fun to be creative!

Be agile and face failure.

Allowing our clients to be agile through customizability, and our team to be agile through quick decision-making will allow us to correct our paths when thinking outside-of-the-box doesn’t go according to plan. Furthermore, when failure occurs, we should accept responsibility, learn from our experiences, and move on swiftly and with purpose.

We've taken the Founder's Pledge.

We believe that we are blessed to be in the conditions we are today. We would not have the opportunies we have today if it weren’t for the generous leaders that came before us.

That’s why our founders have decided to take the Founder’s Pledge. In the event of liquidity of the founder’s shares the founders will be giving up a portion of their proceeds to the following charities:

The Grand River Hospital uses donations through the Foundation to fund the purchase of state-of-the-art machinery that the government is unable to pay for. These machines help doctors diagnose and treat patients that are suffering from major diseases (such as cancer) faster and more effectively.
Everyone knows someone who has been affected by Cancer. Cancer is a horrible desease and causes so much heartbreak around the world. The Canadian Cancer Society consistently uses funds to support people with cancer as well as their families throughout the treatment and recovery process.
We know first hand how much value Service Dogs can provide to children with autism and people with mental illnesses. Unfortunately there is a multi-year waitlist for people who need service dogs, due to the difficult nature of raising and training the dogs. We hope that our support for them will help reduce this waitlist.