Mobile Commerce

On-Demand Delivery App Dolly Nets $8 Million

Just about every furniture retailer will help you lug that new sofa up three flights of stairs to your apartment, but what are you supposed to do when it's already up there and you need to get it across town?

Instead of calling a friend with a pickup truck, you might soon be pulling out your phone and checking out Dolly, an on-demand delivery startup that connects people who need help moving large items with gig-based workers. Though the startup is barely a year old, TechCrunch reported that Dolly and CEO Michael Howell recently landed $8 million in Series A funding in a round led by Maveron, bringing its total capital raised to $10 million.

“We want our customers to think of Dolly as their friend with a truck - we can help anytime you need a truck and some muscle,” Howell told GeekWire.

While Uber's pricing model could at least rely on the age-old system of taxi fares to establish price points customers prefer, Dolly has a more complex way of arriving at the estimates given to users when they open the app. Howell told TechCrunch that a user first inputs basic parameters such as the item or items that need to be moved, its destination and when he or she needs it delivered. Next, Dolly takes into account dozens of factors, including overall weight, steps in any stairs and the total distance of the delivery, to give users a price quote.

Though it might seem complicated, Howell said that most Dolly users spend between $60 and $85 per job.

Dolly began in Chicago in 2014, according to The Seattle Times, but after relocating its headquarters to the Emerald City, the startup officially began servicing the greater Seattle area on Thursday (Oct. 1). With two major cities under its belt, Dolly and Howell hope that number jumps to 20 by the end of 2016.

And if it doesn't, Dolly might just know someone who can help with the heavy lifting.

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.