There is no shortage of startups that aspire to be the next Uber. Entrepreneurs the world over are hungry to develop the next app that will revolutionize how we deal with a common hassle, whether it's buying groceries or hiring a babysitter. One new idea that seems to be catching on comes courtesy of a Dallas-based startup called Pickup.
Pickup is for all the people who post on Craiglist and Facebook that they need to transport a new couch or TV, but don't have access to a large enough vehicle. Pickup provides the wheels a trustworthy driver who can help with the heavy lifting.
The app is available for iPhone and Android, and moves can also be booked through Pickup's website. With a $45 starting fee, it's meant to be used for in-city moves, whether of a single item or an entire apartment's worth of stuff. Drives longer than 45 minutes cost a dollar per minute and a dollar per mile.
The service was founded by Brenda Stoner, a single mother who has experience with startups and app development. Stoner used to work in marketing for Texas Instruments, and got the idea for her app after she observed how many pickup trucks were driving on the Dallas North Tollway one day.
A lot of startups present solutions to made-up problems, but Pickup goes the opposite route. "We are a technology-enabling business," Stoner says. "We're a service business. We're just trying to use some tech to help make this thing a reality."
Pickup started in 2014 in Dallas and Fort Worth and has since expanded to Houston. More cities are being eyed for expansion, but they have yet to be announced. Earlier this year, Ross Perot Jr. became an investor. The company is continuing to gain traction, but it's growing gradually instead of making an immediate splash.
A big part of the business' brand is the drivers they hire. Prospective drivers cannot just upload a picture and provide basic contact information to qualify. Stoner's company does thorough background checks and vehicle inspections, and they often hire military veterans and firefighters. "If I'm going to bring someone into your home, it's going to be somebody I would bring into mine," Stoner says.
Learn more about Pickup at pickupnow.com.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.