Postmates, the startup that delivers anything to you within an hour, just launched in New York.
This marks Postmates’ third city. Before today, it was only available in San Francisco and Seattle.
But for now, Postmates will only be available in a 10-block radius around the Flatiron district in Manhattan. That means Postmates will deliver anything within Manhattan in under an hour to workers and residents in the Flatiron District.
Once you fire up the app, you’ll see the most popular places around you. From there, you can purchase items with just a few taps. Once you’ve made your selection, click “Get it now” and in a few moments, you’ll see all the details about your courier: name, photo rating, and even his or her exact location in real-time.
“Whatever you want, I can get it to you,” Postmates founder and CEO Bastian Lehmann tells Business Insider. “I can summon [anything] to you within an hour.”
Once the courier arrives, you review the charges, decide if you want to leave a tip, and then sign to confirm delivery.
As Lehmann explains, the focus right now is on restaurants that don’t deliver, or only deliver in a very small zone. One reason for that is, believe it or not, 63% of restaurants in NYC don’t offer delivery. Still, Postmates users can summon anything from food to laptops at the Apple Store to laundry pick-ups.
There are, of course, other delivery services in New York, but very few, if any, that provide equal value to customers, businesses, and couriers.
For customers, on-demand delivery of anything is pretty unheard of, unless it’s from a restaurant. For businesses, they can increase their sales without having to spend a dime. And for couriers, they have access to thousands of delivery orders per day.
Couriers get 80% of the delivery fee, and 100% of the tip. It’s also worth noting that while the majority of Postmates’s couriers are professionals, about 30% of them in San Francisco are students or just people looking for a secondary source of income, Lehmann tells us.
Postmates takes 20% from every delivery and also partners with restaurants, like Whole Foods, which pay them a fee for every delivery Postmates brings them.
You might be thinking, “But what about Seamless and GrubHub? Don’t they do the same thing?”
Well, not exactly.
Seamless and GrubHub, two food delivery companies that recently announced a merger, are basically just web ordering forms, and don’t offer their own delivery fleet.
“Seamless is basically an unnecessary-like pimple,” Lehmann says. “They don’t add anything to the value of your operations. […] They rely on the fact that you have delivery personnel. If you don’t have delivery personnel, you can get orders from Seamless and GrubHub all night long, but you will not be able to fulfil them. So that’s a huge problem.”
Postmates, on the other hand, is designed to be an infrastructure for an entire city, Lehmann says.
“We really envision a future where if we control the wheels on the ground, why would a restaurant still do their own delivery service?” Lehmann posits. “If we can be as flexible, more affordable, more cost-efficient to them, why would they even have someone sitting around to do a delivery? That makes no sense.”
In order to ensure delivery from high-trafficked restaurants with long lines, Postmates has deals in place with restaurants where it can skip the line, or have the food put aside specifically for Postmates couriers.
In the last three months Postmates has processed more than $1 million in deliveries from merchants in San Francisco and Seattle. It’s currently growing its delivery volume by 20% month over month.
So what’s driving this growth?
“It’s very easy to form a habit around it,” Lehmann says. “Whenever you have a product that allows a user to form a habit around it, you have a winner.”