It’s a familiar story: an on-demand car-service app that hooks up drivers with riders at a discounted price.
But Buddytruk doesn’t move people. It moves their things.
Brian Foley, the Santa Monica startup's founder and chief executive, came up with the idea behind the “social hauling” company after he was forced to rent a U-Haul to move his mattress – the one item that didn’t fit in his car. As he was parking the truck on a narrow Santa Monica street, he hit the bumper of his new roommate’s car.
“Yeah, I didn’t live there long,” he said, laughing.
From that experience, Buddytruk in August launched its iOS app as a solution to help Angelenos move with ease. Like with Uber and Lyft, Buddytruk vets its drivers with background checks. But the company also makes sure drivers don’t have physical ailments that would keep them from lifting heavy cargo. Drivers’ cars also need to have at least 60 cubic feet of space to qualify.
“We had this goal to beat what Uber did in their first month, and we doubled that as far as transactions go,” Foley said.
He declined to share exact figures, but he said the company was on pace to triple its revenue and transactions by the end of this month, its second in operation.
The startup raised $150,000 earlier this year in a friends-and-family round, and it’s in the process of raising a second seed round. Buddytruk plans to expand into its second city by January. Manhattan is the likely choice, said Foley, but San Francisco and Austin, Texas, are also contenders. An Android app is expected to launch by the end of this year.