Getting goods delivered in a major city is easy; getting those goods delivered outside a major metropolitan area isn’t. That’s where Roadie comes in, the new person-to-person startup shipping network that just raised $10 million in funding.
Roadie, which launched an iOS and Android mobile app yesterday (Jan. 27), wants to be among the first to start what it calls the “neighbor-to-neighbor” shipping network. The company uses drivers with longer daily commutes to essentially create a shipping network that helps people who want same-day delivery of goods to various destinations that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.
The name, which stems from the concept of the entourage that travels with a band, attempts to convey how the peer-operated driver network operates. The drivers, aka “roadies” are responsible for a “gig” — picking up an item from one place and delivering to a destination that driver was already headed toward. The concept comes from Atlanta, Georgia-based founder Marc Gorlin, who wanted to fill the gap in what he felt was a demand in the delivery market. Tapping into the concept of helping your neighbor out, like he said people do in the south, Roadie is designed to help people get their packages delivered quicker in a more reliable and trusted method.
“Southern hospitality is something that is genuinely Southern,” Gorlin told TechCrunch.
Here’s how the service works: Roadie users pay a fare per delivery, including a fee per mile; 80 percent of that goes toward to driver and 20 percent to the company. TechCrunch reported that drivers can make $8 to $150 per job, depending on the length of the trip. Background checks are done on each of the drivers and the people receiving the delivery can pick a location to get the package if they don’t want to meet at their home. The service is currently available in Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, or the Carolinas. Expansion plans across the rest of the U.S. are in the works for later in 2015.