Bostonians will be the first to try out Pinch, a social delivery app that enables anyone to make extra money by fitting a few extra errands in their schedule. The New Jersey startup has chosen Boston as its launch city, and several hundred Boston College, Boston University, and Suffolk University students participated in beta tests earlier this spring, reported The Boston Globe yesterday (June 8).
Whether its dropping off someone’s dry cleaning or picking up a few things at the grocery store, the app utilizes a completely cashless system to help people get what they want quickly or make money on the go.
“When you’re at a hotel and realize you’re missing something, or a mom’s at home with the baby crying, but she’s out of diapers or baby food — those are all Pinch moments,” CEO Christian Na told The Boston Globe.
By posting a request, like picking up cold medicine from the pharmacy, and setting a price to be paid for the service as a “tip,” the app will find a person willing to run the errand for the specified tip. These “runners” may be professional couriers or just “the student on the T, who sees someone wants something from Chipotle, and he hops off, hops back on, and delivers the product,” Na explained. “He could make $10.”
As the app works to beef up the number of available errand runners, users will be able to post tasks to be completed in other cities as well or only post tasks to a specific network of friends.
The trend of using apps to get people to do the tasks you don’t want to or simply don’t have time for continues to grow. The market for on-demand service- and delivery-based apps has become big business.
Home-cleaning app Helpling, which recently picked up $47 million in funding in March, is scaling up operations and expanding rapidly into new cities. The ever-changing business model of startup grocery delivery company Instacart, valued at more than $2 billion, also demonstrates the potential for success in an “on-demand” economy.
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