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Roadie App is making a stop at WaffleHouse, since they’re partners now!

“There’s some­body leav­ing every­where going every­where all the time,” says avid entre­pre­neur Marc Gor­lin. “There’s this mas­sive heat map that’s hid­den under our feet that Road­ie is going to reveal.”

Road­ie is a com­pa­ny that just closed on $10 mil­lion in Series A financ­ing, which includ­ed funds from UPS’s Strate­gic Enter­prise Fund, the ship­ping company’s invest­ment arm. The com­pa­ny is look­ing to cause an upheaval of the $90 bil­lion U.S. ship­ping indus­try via the Road­ie App. The plan is to uti­lize dri­vers going in a par­tic­u­lar direc­tion to pick up pack­ages and deliv­er them along their pre-exist­ing path or route for a small fee. To make this even cool­er, Road­ie has part­nered with Waf­fle House restau­rants. They plan on start­ing this in 1,750 loca­tions across 25 states and will be the first of sev­er­al offi­cial “Road­ie Road­hous­es,” or meet-up spots, where dri­vers and senders can con­nect to unload a shipment.

Marc Gor­lin who had co-found­ed Kab­bage, a tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny says it’s more than a deliv­ery ser­vice, but a com­mu­ni­ty of helpers. The idea was pitched to Waf­fle House CEO Walt Ehmer at a night­time, glow-in-the-dark golf tour­na­ment, which he respond­ed rather well to. Pat Warn­er, Waf­fle House’s VP of Cul­ture, says the deal with Road­ie made sense because “it’s a nat­ur­al exten­sion of what our restau­rants are right now,” he explains. “We’re kind of a meet­ing place, a gath­er­ing place for peo­ple in the com­mu­ni­ty now. We’re along the inter­state, so a lot of peo­ple use us as land­marks and meet­ing places already.”

Waf­fle House has nev­er part­nered with a com­pa­ny like this before, and cer­tain­ly not an ear­ly-stage start­up like Road­ie, but it’s some­thing they want­ed to try. Maybe the Road­ies and Senders will sit down and eat and chat togeth­er dur­ing the swap. At present there are rough­ly 115,000 peo­ple who have already applied to be Road­ie dri­vers. “There are lit­er­al­ly over 70,000 peo­ple with a Road­ie t‑shirt in their laun­dry bag, for an app that’s just launch­ing,” says Gor­lin. The com­pa­ny also has 250 peo­ple who have beta-test­ed the service.

Road­ie dri­vers aren’t pro­fes­sion­al ship­pers, but peo­ple who want to make a lit­tle extra mon­ey by car­ry­ing some­thing some­one else needs shipped. A job could be as short as 7 miles or up to 300. They are start­ing out to a lim­it­ed eight state range in the south­west but will expand as more demand accrues. With the app, you just take pic­tures and give details and a Road­ie will respond giv­ing loca­tion, avail­abil­i­ty and so on. Fees change based on length of trip, speed of required deliv­ery. Fees are based on dif­fer­ent fac­tors, like the length of the trip and the time when the pack­age needs to get deliv­ered. Typ­i­cal­ly prices will range from $8 to $150, accord­ing to the com­pa­ny. The fees for deliv­er­ies on Road­ie are often more afford­able than tra­di­tion­al shippers.

Tomor­rowVen­tures, and the Mel­lon Group became very inter­est­ed right away, as well as bou­tique invest­ment bank Stephens Inc., with addi­tion­al par­tic­i­pa­tion from the Guggen­heim Part­ners exec­u­tive chair­man Alan Schwartz, and Square co-founder, Jim McK­elvey. They are smelling the mon­ey, and why not. I even think it sounds like a fun and nov­el idea of doing things.

If you’ve got a pack­age that needs to go some­where, you know what app to down­load –ROADIE!


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