The past few months have been very good to BUDDYTRUK (link), the Santa Monica-based “Uber of bulky item moving and delivery” which recently completed its second seed round (raising $570K), and recently won the Startup of the Year Award from the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. BuddyTruk’s goals have been twofold — to be the friendly neighbor with a truck, and to provide jobs & strengthen communities in the areas in which they set up base.
Late last year Buddytruk was featured in Forbes (link), and partnered with Whole Foods to deliver Christmas trees. And as we roll into 2015, the momentum continues. Says Buddytruk’s CJ Johnson, “We hope to make some big announcements soon as far as partnerships with larger brands.”
Buddytruk founder Brian Foley came up with the idea for Buddytruk after he tried to move into a new apartment and took out his new neighbor’s number with his rented truck. So, out of frustration and insurance claims, Buddytruk was born in October 2013.
And like all startups, the path to funding was only the beginning of a very long haul. The idea is great but then you gotta execute — build your team, build an app, network like crazy, seek investors, gain mentors, kept moving forward no matter what you face each day.
Buddytruk is currently available in Los Angeles, and should be in ten strategic markets by year’s end. Says Buddytruk’s Johnson, “Right now, we have potential truck owners nationwide that are interested in being Buddytruk drivers, so finding drivers won’t be an issue.”
Scaling is taking time as Buddytruk uses stringent quality controls to vet drivers. Not only must potential drivers be over 21 and able to lift 50 pounds, but are subject to background checks, DMV checks, vehicle inspections. Buddytruk also offers a two-way rating system for drivers & users, and offers a $1 million liability insurance plan.
Says Johnson of the service’s costs, “The rates are very low — we have a minimum $29 threshold to use Buddytruk, with an algorithm that calculates the transaction cost based on distance and time. The time component is $1.00/min. However, as the transaction goes on, this price decreases. The distance component is $1.00/mile. So an hour-long transaction could average between $60-70. We also provide users an option to add a tip if they would like. Our drivers keep 80% of all the transaction fees and 100% of any tips, so it’s nice bit of money to make as a Buddytruk driver.”
Says Foley of the service, “We want to bring back that community spirit to each city and town by lending a helping hand whenever possible.”
PS, you wanna see how to hustle? It’s great to build a product and devote time turning it into a full-fledged service, but then you have to get the word out, and Buddytruk has been hustling nonstop (link)