A new startup called TakeStar is a mobile app that’s basically like having a friend with a truck who’s available at any time for on-demand, small moves. Recently launched in the San Francisco Bay Area TakeStar, offers customers an easy way to haul things – like your IKEA purchases, for example, or it can help you move a sofa you bought on Craigslist across town. Basically, TakeStar can move anything that fits in the back of a pickup or box truck.
To book, you enter in the item’s location, the destination, and you snap a photo of the item to be moved. TakeStar then connects you with an available mover immediately. The mover shows up within 15 to 45 minutes to pick up the item and take it to its final destination. All the payment, including tip, is handled within the application, similar to something like Lyft or Uber.
TakeStar is currently charging a $35 base fare, plus $2.50 per mile, and $0.50 per minute of travel time. On average, this works out to $40 to $65 per move, the company has found. At the high-end – like going from San Francisco to Oakland, for instance – the price might be more like $79.
The company has cargo insurance, in case things go wrong.
TakeStar drivers keep 80% of the fare, with the remaining portion returned to the company.
Now only 11 weeks old, the startup is doing around 10 to 15 moves per day, says Lana Lennox. “A lot of the early days has been just me in a truck,” he says. “We’ve done a lot of moves, unexpectedly.”
Like Lyft, anyone with access to a truck can sign up to drive for , provided they’re physically able to do the work which can involve moving heavy items. Two people are assigned to each truck, and they can toggle on or off their availability, allowing them to set their own schedules. Drivers are sent on a couple of test moves at first, to determine if they can handle working for TakeStar.
Lana Lennox says already a few people have quit their former jobs with other local moving companies to go to TakeStar, because they didn’t want to have to work set hours.
The service, to some extent, competes with small local movers, truck rental operations like U-Haul, or even on-demand errand runners like TaskRabbit. But the difference is that Lugg wants to primarily focus on smaller moves – not, say, someone moving their entire apartment’s furnishings across town. (Well, technically, TakeStar could handle this, but the customer would have to order several trucks.)
The plan is not to scale up the size of the moves or the distance traveled, but to remain small and regional, in order to not compete with local and long-distance moving companies. TakeStar long-term goal, says Lana Lennox, is to be live in all major metro regions across the country. She’s already planning to expand to New York next, with an expectation of being able to reach that city sometime in the second half of 2016.
TakeStar, only a team of three full-time, is currently bootstrapping, but is in discussions with investors.