How we started Startup

How we started Startup

Startup — How did the startup idea come about?

I have been doing logistics for 10 years. Today, our team carries out transportation of any complexity: from the delivery of a national team to the organization of project logistics for the transportation of oversized cargo by multimodal messages.

In 2012, I made the last payments on the loan, which was issued for the purchase of trucks, and since the eternal problem and a significant expense of the transport business are drivers, at that time I very often went on long-distance trips myself. Traveled many cities of Russia and Europe. I tied the axles, the code of the ladder was breaking in the field at -30 ° C, and stood for 3 days in the carriages on the border. I put “copies” in my passport to avoid problems with the specification, in which there was an incorrect breakdown by TNVED codes. All this helped me save on driver fees and cut flight costs.

On one of these trips, when I was traveling from Bialystok to Kaliningrad, I had the idea to create an analogue of “Uber” for courier and cargo delivery. But then I did not have enough funds for its implementation. In 2016, I returned to my idea.

Product — What was the first version of the product?

A little more than a year ago the development team created for us 2 applications for clients and the same number for performers. The backend was based on 1C-Rarus: Taxi Automation. 6 months after launch, we abandoned this program, although everything worked fine with it.

We launched the project on June 1, 2017 and very much hoped for an explosive effect. We have fully prepared for this, made a high-quality and expensive website, a presentation, texts were written by copywriters, they even made a video. Even the software was not raw, it worked well. But Kaliningrad decided that it will give us clients gradually.

By that time, we were already part of a start-up party. They participated in Harvests and Hackatons, and in the summer they passed the correspondence accelerator from IIDF. We had strong trackers, we very quickly learned how to work in HARDI cycles, test hypotheses and track results weekly. As a result, in a short period of time we covered many areas where delivery was required.

This is incredibly cool when you almost don’t have to sell your product, you only talk about the functionality and whether it is a home pastry chef or a large retailer says: “Wow, let’s try!”.

But our focus remained in 3 categories: food delivery, online shopping, any products in Instagram that need to be transported. It is here that our advantages in speed and manufacturability are most appreciated.

Since the full-time accelerator from IIDF, for which we submitted an application, was planned only at the beginning of next year, and we could not deserve the expected money from venture capitalists — I decided that we were ready to scale by selling a franchise. It occurred to me to play on the Transformer channel at Portnyagin. The price at that time was 800 thousand rubles. and very bite, but confidence was given by entrepreneurs from the previous series, who stated that there were many applications afterwards.

How we started Startup

5 min. before filming started, we first met Dima, all previous steps were coordinated with the manager. He said that he would not be able to make a video about the project “Yacurier” because of the dampness of the product and put KPI: sell three franchises, go out a million and change the design of the client application. I was very upset, but I understood that everything was in essence. It was after this that the realization came to mind: we are not ready to copy to other cities, 1C is not something that our partners should work on.

We rewrote everything on webcam, thought out business logic very well, took into account several scaling scenarios. By December, we all repacked the new and went to the site beboss. For a couple of months, we received about 150 applications, and by April 2017 branches opened in Astana, Almaty and Minsk. We were surprised that all of them are not from Russia, we had to slightly modify the application in order to adapt to other countries. This affected the input mask of the phones, slightly reworked the business logic and played around with currencies.

For six months we were asked what was the difference between our project and “Peshkarikov”, “Deliveries”, etc., to which we sincerely answered that there would be a place for us in such a large market. But when we are faced with the fact that customers who have regular drivers or couriers contact us only when someone is sick or broken, and they don’t want to transfer all the logistics to outsourcing, a hypothesis emerges: if we make Uber for couriers why within the personal account, not to allow the client to make his own little Uber?

But this was not enough. A large company needs to optimize the delivery and distribution of goods between drivers, and this is already a solution to the classic transportation problem. We began to work, and this is what we did: anyone who registers on the website or through the application gets the opportunity to create applications for the delivery of their cargo and a full-fledged optimization platform for the logistics department within a personal account.

Also implemented the function of forming routes. Falling asleep thousands of addresses in the “funnel”, the system will automatically distribute them between regular drivers, based on capacity, vehicle volume and build the best route. And the mobile application is an effective tool for this!

The operator can:

  • monitor machines in real time on the map, at no additional cost;
  • add new cars and drivers working for them;
  • create one-time requests and assign full-time drivers, they in turn will see all the information about the route, all contact details in their Android, IOS application;
  • create route requests: the system will automatically distribute them between regular drivers, based on weight, capacity and time interval within which you need to deliver the goods to the client;
  • the system will build the route itself and record the deviation from it;
  • the system can assign a new order automatically to the nearest free driver.

And if a regular driver gets sick or a car breaks down, you can always send a request to all registered performers of your city with one click, and the cargo will be delivered on time. All this within one platform!

At the same time, we want to modify the functionality so that not only drivers take requests through the application, but also the operator could assign his car to third-party delivery. As a result, we want to create one large ecosystem that will be equally well suited to a restaurant, which needs an application to be automatically sent to the nearest free courier, and on long-haul traffic, where the driver sees the information on the application and the operator tracks the movement of the car.

We can also offer a solution, for example, for a hardware store, which has a delivery department at the entrance. The operator can create a request for delivery, and on the screen expanded to the client, the route will appear, and he will see the approaching car. Even if it will be some private driver who stands in the parking lot – the “Wow!” Effect is guaranteed!

Crew — How was our team created?

I was faced with the task of finding specialists who made applications for taxis, since the algorithm is the same. I started with Kaliningrad, there was only one company in the region that did not propose to do a project on any Bitrix, but to write from scratch. But the cost was very high – about 5 million. rub.

There were three selection criteria: experience in similar projects, reasonable price and payment in installments over the course of development. I stopped at a company from Kazan and the price is about 400 thousand rubles. This is an iOS and Android application for clients and performers. The whole backend was written by a third-party specialist.

As it turned out later, at a price they made a bad bargain, this was the reason for the termination of cooperation. They have run out of a budget for programmers, because of this, the timeline has shifted dramatically. Now, another company is working on minor improvements, and the main programmer, who oversaw the project from the very beginning, is engaged in the backend.

How we started Startup

Promotion What promotion channels worked?

After numerous tests, to all our new French partners, we give a three-month plan according to which they should move. In the end, it looks like this: we launch a large detailed article on 2-3 informational sites. During the month we publish short animated videos on social networks. Next, turn on contextual advertising and move on to the plane of cold sales. We work on recognition through branding of performers’ cars.

Monetization — How to check the demand for the product? First sales and monetization model

We were convinced that after the launch, everything will not go according to our plans, there will be problems with the work of certain segments. But surprisingly, probably, due to the great experience in logistics and the ability to organize any delivery, our launch was successful. We did not get an explosive growth, as we dreamed of, which is probably due to the fact that in Kaliningrad there is no culture of ordering a courier around the city. We had to create it. As our castdev has shown, if people need delivery, they bring it themselves or ask friends, if they cannot, call a taxi.

In the case of delivery, we write off 15% of each order from the courier’s virtual balance, which it has previously replenished. We have segmented the market and selected priority areas where our services are most in demand. This is the delivery of food, flowers and cakes. Our services are ordered either for the whole day with a minimum fixed rate of 1,500 rubles, or at peak loads. For example, if a restaurant has 2 full-time couriers that are not loaded all day, and 10 orders appear for lunch, they take a maximum of 4, the rest hang. In this case, the restaurant is much more profitable to give all the delivery to outsourcing.

There is another type of company, for example, for example, classic courier services. They take couriers from us all the time, at the end of the month they pay. In the case of a logistics solution, now the cost is 500 rubles. for each connected full-time machine per month, regardless of the number of delivery points. The main task today, which we are facing in terms of monetization, is to form a wide customer base and then regulate the pricing policy.

Dynamic metrics – How many customers are there now? Average check? The cost of attracting a client? How have these indicators changed in six months?

If we take zero for the reporting point, which was exactly a year ago, now we have about 200 courier deliveries per day, in the same place itinerary and 10-20 freight. The average check for courier – about 150 rubles. one route delivery costs 100 rub., and one-time 200-250 rub.

As for freight, an hour of work costs 400-600 rub. These are not only old customers who are now ordering a car through a personal account on the site, with whom we worked before the launch of the “Yacurier” project, but also new ones that make an order and couriers and a cargo taxi .

Most of our customers are appliance stores, transportation companies and companies that work for chain stores. The main advantage that our offer gives them is the minimum time for car delivery due to a large number of performers – 20-30min.

If you add up all the costs for the year and divide by the number of customers, then the cost of attracting a customer is 3-4 thousand. rub. This is quite a lot, but we have a long livetimevalue, for the year only 1-2 clients stopped working with us. Therefore, we expect cost reduction due to recognizability and word of mouth.

How we started Startup

Plans — Search for investments, access to new markets

Today we strive to gain a foothold in 10 major cities of Russia, to establish urban and long-distance delivery. We plan to go to Moscow and St. Petersburg in the 4th quarter of 2018.

We do not strive to create Uber for couriers, we make a platform where all participants will be able to search for third-party executors, work with their machines, assign them to their orders, monitor, optimize all logistics and do it all online.

The transport business, like the construction business, is very conservative, it is difficult to change, but now is the time for that. We make big bets on the decision to optimize the route of delivery, now not only with reference to the GPS in the phone, which is perfect for hired drivers, but also trackers that are put into the car directly. Our product allows you to display all the standard data about the car. Monitoring with reference to the optimization of route delivery, will allow us to provide a product that will replace the existing transport sites operating on the principle of bulletin boards. We allow the client to place shipping orders, receive only direct carriers and track their movements.