Moving Out Goes Peer-to-Peer


These new apps promise to make the moving process easier. Will they work?

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It’s moving day and you’re repeatedly trying to tilt and pivot your bulky couch at different angles in the hopes that it will somehow miraculously fit in your very reliable, very small, Toyota Camry—well buddy, let’s face it, there is no way it’s going to fit—so what do you do now? Call a friend with a pickup truck perhaps? You either don’t have one or they are most likely busy. So you sit down on said bulky couch and rack your brain for solutions, or you wait for that absent friend of yours. Thankfully there is no more need to wait. The moving solution is finally here, and it can be found on peer-to-peer platforms: meet MOOV and Buddytruk.

GET MOOVING

MOOV is a very young startup, having only been brainstormed and developed just this March. But before we get into the nitty, gritty details of the app itself you should know how it all began.

The Birth of MOOV

MOOV took its very first steps at Startup Weekend Louisville. If you are not familiar with Startup Weekend, their website explains—in a nutshell—what they are all about:

“Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!”

Startup weekends give entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike the opportunity to mesh creatively and collaborate on new, innovative business ideas. Most of the people that attend have an extensive background in design, business or some other technical field. The festivities begin on Friday when an “open-mic night” of sorts is held and people are given the chance to pitch their business ideas while trying to inspire others to join their team and make their idea into an actual reality. On Saturday and Sunday, these newly acquainted teams focus on “customer development, validating their ideas, and building a minimal viable product” that they must present to a panel of expert judges at the end of the day on Sunday. These judges give invaluable feedback to the teams as well as selecting a winning team for the weekend.

Recently, Startup Weekend visited Louisville and an innovative business was born. Approximately fifty people participated in Startup Weekend Louisville but only seven people were able to win over the judges with their impressive business model, customer appeal, and rapid growth in the three-day period. The team of seven consisted of a banker, firefighter, architect, business owner, and three students. After a long weekend they received first place for their business, MOOV.

New social moving apps connect people who need bulky items moved with truck owners willing to help.

The Dirty Details

MOOV is an Uber-like application that acts as a matchmaker, connecting people who need something heavy moved with people who own pickup trucks. All you need to do is pull out your phone, bring up the MOOV app and with the click of a button you have someone moving that aforementioned heavy item. This peer-to-peer application consists of MOOV’Rs and SHAK’Rs. MOOVR’s are the individuals who own a pickup truck and are wanting to make some extra cash by doing deliveries whereas the SHAK’Rs are the people who need that bulky load moved but don’t own a pickup truck to do it themselves.

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The entire matchmaker process is done within the app. Like Uber, pickup truck drivers (or MOOV’Rs) who are registered within the app can see which SHAK’Rs are requesting a MOOV, along with a simple description on what they need to be moved, where it needs to go, and how much they are willing to pay for the service (each job must be priced at $35 or more). If the MOOV’Rs see a job that they deem worth their time they can “Shake On It” and accept the deal. Also, just like Uber, MOOV splits its fees with the friendly pickup driver 80/20, so the driver will receive 80 percent of the total transaction.

BUDDYTRUK

Much like MOOV, Buddytruk is a “social moving” service, offering a peer-to-peer solution to the stressful experience that is moving. Functioning sort of like the disruptive ridesharing services we see existing so successfully today, Buddytruk pairs truck-less movers with truck owners (and the ability to lift at least 50 pounds).

Founded in 2013, Buddytruk—like many other industry-challenging startups—formed from a frustrating experience. CEO of Buddytruk, Brian Foley, had a seriously unfortunate Uhaul experience that resulted in the front of the car next to him being crushed—what’s worse, it turned out to be his roommate’s ride. Just trying to move a mattress turned into a serious headache.

Four years and a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine later, Foley grew tired of his job as a Financial Advisor. Thinking back to his Uhaul nightmare, Foley along with co-founders Ryan Salmons and Russell Tuchman began making moves (pun very much intended) on the peer-to-peer platform. The company is based out of Santa Monica and operates currently in two cities: Los Angeles, and The Zebra‘s hometown of Austin, Texas.

SOCIAL MOVING

The service is simple. Post a photo of what you want moved, wait for a buddy with a truck to pick up your request, connect, and move. Keep in mind, this service isn’t for full-on moves (yet), but rather, for example, to get that heavy-as-bricks couch you have no idea what to do with out of your old place and into your new. Moves with Buddytruk, in fact, generally involve items less than $1,000 in value. It has even been a popular user behavior to call up Buddytruk straight from home furnishing stores like IKEA to move their brand new duds. Buddies (movers) get to hold onto 80 percent of the proceeds.

So, obviously Buddytruk faces competition in the space as more entrepreneurs catch wind of revolutionizing the moving space. We spoke to co-founder Ryan Salmons to answers a few more of our questions on the innovative startup. Salmons got his starts here in Austin as a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin studying government, with a minor in business and computer science.

In regards to the competition, Salmons says the startup welcomes it. “Competition is great! It means people are starting to find out about the space,” Salmons explained. He also clarified that aforementioned MOOV is for smaller cars and smaller moves: “It’s more like Postmates…similar concept, different target,” said Salmons. Quite simply, MOOV caters to a different type of mover with different needs. Other competitors mentioned include Dolly and Ghostruck.

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And what about the insurance? We’ve got to know the dirty insurance details, what with Uber in the headlines day in and day out about their coverage faults. Unlike Uber, however, Buddytruk has you fully covered. Salmons gave us the 411: “General liability policy covers basically the entire transaction—everyone and everything is covered, up to a million dollars. The only thing it doesn’t cover is people who may decide to ride with [the mover] in the vehicle.”

What’s in store for Buddytruk’s future? Salmons explained that the current platform and state of the moving space lend themselves to a number of possibilities for the future: “For the remainder of this year, [Buddytruk] plans to expand to more cities and scale quickly with a focus on acquiring businesses like CostCo, Target, Ikea—big box retailers.” The startup also sees potential in providing a full-service moving option, even including or partnering with other services that go with the territory of hauling, like Stairfoot for delivering customers’ items directly to storage units.

Have you used a social moving platform? And if not—will you give it a try next time you’re faced with some heavy lifting, and no truck to move it?

  • Aston Carlton

    Nice post….I doubt anyone will install an app on their phone you don’t use everyday. Compared to say Uber where you need a ride everyday. The life cycle of the average app is two months unless it’s an app thats part of your operational life. There are others in the peer to peer economy like relayrides, phlatbed, lyft and a host of others. Some are well suited for mobile applications i.e. a living app on your phone due to their frequency of use. But others not so much, I mean how many times do you need to move stuff compared to how may times you need to get around physically.