Peer-to-peer deliveries can be quite a hassle. The "carpooling for stuff" startup PickThisUp has a solution: it lets drivers nearby drive for you to send or receive your order. Currently incubated at UtrechtInc, the startup has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from an angel investor and three other informals.
When you want to send or receive a delivery package, you can post the task on the platform, and then drivers can accept a delivery request or make a counter offer. These are usually people that are going that way anyway, using the empty space in their trunk. After selecting, the driver will then deliver the package at the agreed date and time. After a successful delivery the driver gets rated and paid; PickThisUp gets some commission.
PickThisUp was founded by the brothers Arjen and Jelmer van der Zee in February 2015. The investment money will be used to hire the current developer full time, to recruit a CMO and setting up marketing campaigns.
For CEO Arjen van der Zee, the funding felt like a relief. The startup finally has found its place in the ecosystem, after struggling a bit with the proposition. "We really needed the funding because we almost burned all our life savings. We started bootstrapping right away. And at first, we thought we needed to think solely about the green/eco impact. Then we realized we needed to focus on the people earning money by driving as well."
That move could be a clever one. It was done by sharing economy startup Peerby before when it was searching for a business model. It launched Peerby Go, which lets people make a little money while sharing. PickThisUp is joined by similiar startups in the Dutch ecosystem like Sjipit from Breda and Trunkrs (also at UtrechtInc but with a focus on webshop owners).
Six days to a deal
The funny thing is: as the startup was looking for a mentor in finance for their advisory board, it gained an investor. Van der Zee: "We took a walk and when I explained our idea, he immediately was interested to invest in it. We then called everyday, made a deal, and sealed it with a drink six days later. Now we only need a new financial mentor."