Roadie secured $37 million in funding, including investment from The Home Depot. The closest way to describe Roadie is as an Uber for couriers. Regular people can use the Roadie app to get assignments for scheduled, same-day, or urgent deliveries.
Here’s how the company explains itself: “Roadie is the first on-the-way delivery service that puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people with items to send with drivers already going that way.”
Founder and CEO Marc Gorlin said Roadie is different than Uber and other on-demand services, where people are going out of their way to pick up someone, and then going out of their way again to take someone somewhere they weren’t already going.
“Roadie is the first on-the-way delivery service that puts unused capacity in passenger vehicles to work by connecting people with items to send with drivers already going that way,” Gorlin told us. “Tapping into an engaged fleet of vehicles already traveling to and from stores creates a completely new type of delivery system with the flexibility to handle variable volumes and distance at a predictable cost.”
Gorlin said online sellers could use Roadie for larger items or where shipping exceeds the cost of the item. “Many times, sellers either don’t list these items online or only list them for local pickup. Roadie is an option that greatly expands these sellers’ reach, by making delivery a manageable cost.”
Sellers can integrate with the Roadie API or use its web and mobile apps, he said. “The cost of a delivery varies depending on the distance of the Gig and the size of vehicle required to transport it.”
And by the way, if Gorlin’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was a force behind Kabbage, which set off the tsunami of services offering small-business financing and working capital loans for small marketplace sellers.
We wondered if Roadie was looking to integrate with shipping software programs such as ShipStation. Gorlin said he’d love to partner with shipping platforms, but said in his experience, they are “looking for other “parcel” lookalikes.”
“Consumers want same-day delivery regardless of the seller, so we are confident that most of these platforms will soon see the importance of crowdsourced delivery to give their customers a more robust set of delivery options and the ability to meet same-day needs all across the us,” he said. “We have partnered with Delivery Solutions to offer crowdsourced delivery to customers who might not have the resources or the technical bandwidth to connect directly to our public API.”
Since its 2015 launch, Roadie has grown to over 120,000 drivers and has delivered to more than 11,000 cities and towns nationwide. You can find the press release about its funding on the Roadie.com website.