Postmates is already one of the most talked about startups in Silicon Valley, but now it has a brand new app that’s going to change the way you purchase goods from stores.
It’s releasing the Get It Now application, which will let you use Postmates to order just about anything — from food to a MacBook Pro — and have it delivered to you in under an hour.
You give Postmates a credit card number, and it authorizes your account for the cost of whatever you’re purchasing and gives a courier the ability to use that cash to buy the good.
We caught up with CEO Bastian Lehmann to find out what it was like building the app and getting it off the ground. Here’s what we learned:
- Postmates is already making a ton of money off the app. It’s generated about $20,000 in revenue in the past few weeks and the average Get It Now user spends about $100 each month.
- Postmates is eyeing its next funding round. It’s going to raise money before it expands to the next city.
- New York is next in line. Postmates is currently only available in San Francisco, but the company has started scouting out New York.
Here’s a lightly edited transcription of the interview:
BUSINESS INSIDER: How important is this launch? What’s the traction been like?
BASTIAN LEHMANN: Get It Now was in beta, it’s now in the app store. We’re releasing it officially to everyone and hoping for the best. We should be good on the operational side, in the last couple weeks we brought in $20,000 in revenue. The average user spends a bit over $100 a month on the platform. We were fighting to get the delivery times down, I think we’re at a half hour now. It was a huge operational challenge, it’s like the app we never wanted to build. It’s getting a fleet of couriers and letting them purchase and deliver goods.
The beta was with about a thousand in the closed beta in San Francisco.
BI: What were some of the technical challenges you guys faced when making the app?
BL: A couple things on the back-end, we had to build a system that allows us to purchase a good. That’s a lot of risk you take on right there. Someone registers on your platform with a credit card, asks you to buy a MacBook Pro, you have to have the technical ability to push money to that courier’s credit card. You need to pre-authorise a certain amount on the user’s card. All sorts of things can happen if you’re not careful with your money transactions. We found a great solution with Stripe, the whole billing thing was a huge change. We’re now talking about real lumps of money, not just a delivery fee.
We also needed to reduce a delivery time. We said we’d do it in under an hour, lots of convenience items it doesn’t make any sense to wait two hours for something. Ultimately we had to grow our courier fleet. We now have the capacity to do 1,000 deliveries to day, way up from December.
BI: Has this changed the direction of the company?
BL: If anything, it even proved how even more important the infrastructure we built is. The original idea, we started in December, was that we’re FedEx for local deliveries. Infrastructure that brick and mortar stores can use to ship items locally. But these stores are reluctant to change, we couldn’t sign them up at the pace we were hoping for. But at the same time we had all these consumers that asked if they could purchase something. So we built Get It Now. It’s basically the best app that we can build on our platform. Other companies are using us to distribute equipment int he city. We’re growing on both sides, but with Get It Now we’ve built a product that consumers really love.
BI: So this is a consumer play, but your business-to-business deliveries are still a big part.
BL: Yes, totally. And another important thing is, it’s really awesome to have an app that allows you to deliver from A to B, but most people don’t constantly ship in a city. But everyone constantly purchases things, so this is why we brought that commerce element into it.
BI: What city comes next? Are you opening anywhere else soon?
BL: Austin is a little difficult logistically because it’s so spread out. These cities, like San Francisco and New York, that are more compact, it just makes more sense. Normally I don’t like to talk about what comes next, but we started scouting New York and it’s fair to say that testing starts in a few weeks. At some point, we have to look at our Series A, that’s something that we want to raise soon. There is limitations that you can do with seed funding. Going through a second city is something we would execute after a series A.
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