These are three Seattle-based startups, all launched in the past year, that have built technology to help connect those with moving trucks to those needing to move large objects. Given that they utilize independent drivers owned by everyday people and built a mobile on-demand logistical platform, “Uber for big deliveries” is an adept label for each company.
Now there’s another. Fleetzen is the latest Seattle startup to emerge with an on-demand smartphone app that helps people transport heavy items.
“Having to depend on the store’s delivery schedule or asking friends whether we could borrow their truck did not always meet our needs,” explained Shetty. “The experience of renting trucks from places such as U-Haul is painful and quite inefficient. We felt that moving stuff that didn’t fit in your car shouldn’t be so hard.”
Fleetzen uses independent, vetted delivery drivers to help fulfill requests made on the app by users needing to move large objects. After entering pick-up and drop-off information, users can track a driver’s location, communicate with them, and eventually pay all through the app. Fleetzen takes a cut from the driver’s earnings.
The target market is both businesses who do not have an on-demand delivery infrastructure built, as well as individuals who may need to move a big couch they just bought at IKEA or a lawnmower they found at a garage sale.
Fleetzen said it can offer lower prices than traditional options with a more convenient, efficient service. It charges $1 per mile ($1.25 for cargo vans), $0.67 per minute, and a $10 service fee. The company has yet to offer any insurance.
“It is a simple solution,” Shetty said. “It uses the power of community to provide help and a pickup truck in real time and in matter of minutes. It gives us scale and efficiency in a very cost-effective operating model.”
As far as the competition, Shetty said that Fleetzen offers a more “advanced” product than the other players, which gives the company “a distinct advantage to address some really interesting scenarios.”
“Even though we are starting with a peer-to-peer only service, we have the capability to add support for scenarios that small, medium, and large businesses can benefit from,” he said. “That is going to be our competitive advantage. We plan to forge relationships with businesses to create a constant source of revenue for our business while evangelizing the service heavily with individual consumers.”
Currently, Shetty and Mittal are Fleetzen’s only employees and are bootstrapping the company. The pair plan to expand outside of Seattle soon.