How the GoShare team started the fasted growing marketplace for trucks and movers
For those living in any big city, life with a tiny car, or even without a car, has never been easier. Public transportation takes care of the commute for some, others ride bikes and scooters, and services like Uber and Lyft make it affordable to take a car anywhere the buses don't go.
But that state of post automobile-bliss is harshly interrupted the first time you need to move a couch from one apartment to another. In life, some things are just too big to carry with your own two hands, and that's where a good truck comes in. But where to get one? U-Haul? Endlessly pestering truck-bearing friends?
That was the problem Shaun Savage and his cofounder Assaf Karmon set out to solve in 2014 when they founded GoShare, a peer-to-peer marketplace for hiring a little help from folks with trucks or vans. We sat down with Shaun to talk about the origin GoShare and how his team is revolutionizing this outdated market.
Originally, GoShare was going to be much broader than it is now. I called it the kayak for the the sharing economy. it was going to allow people to share and rent things like trucks but also boats and cars. That turned out to be a little ambitious. We decided to just focus on one thing: trucks. Every year, at least once or twice, I found myself having to rent a pickup truck for some reason. I just got sick of doing it, so I decided to build a company that would make it easier. That was how it started.
Fast forward to today and we've done tens of thousands of deliveries in five markets with over a thousand professionals using the platform.
It’s a mix of businesses and consumers. It’s a very strong value proposition for businesses who are currently relying on old-school truck rental companies. There are also consumers who are moving new apartment or something like that. Plus some people just want to move a single piece of furniture or take a load to the recycling center. it’s been a combination of people using it for those reasons cool was it.
We started with two people, myself and Assaf, our VP of Engineering. And my mom actually was also our first investor other than myself. Once we started getting busy, she also ended up helping out with customer service and driver operations!
Craigslist actually! We started putting up probably 6 months before we launched and it was more of like a smoke test. I don't remember the exact number but I want to say close to 500 or 1000 people signed up this way before we even launched, which told us that people would be interested.
Frankly, I knew I needed help. I had a little business in college but other than that my business experience was pretty minimal. So there were a lot of things about running a startup I just didn’t know. I looked into a couple of different incubators like Y Combinator, but Evo Nexus was almost literally in my backyard. And it’s a non profit, so they provided office space and knowledge without us needing to hand over equity. It's an unbelievable value.
The most valuable component for us was the experienced mentors who had been founders and CEOs themselves who we talked to on a weekly basis. That, and then there was a really good peer group.
Before that, we were working out of my apartment and it was a little awkward. Having the office space is great because it gives you a lot of legitimacy when you're trying to hire people early stage.
GoShare is available in San Diego County, Orange County, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Georgia and my home state of New Jersey.
Actually New Jersey and San Diego launched at the same time. And the reason that we did it that way was to test two different types of markets. San Diego is a big urban city and New Jersey is more suburban. We wanted to test which area would perform better. Broadly, we’ve found that people in New Jersey will use GoShare but are slower to adopt it than a tech-savvy city like San Diego.
Probably some of the big partnerships that we’ve locked down. The biggest one was Costco. As of this month we’re in 30 Costco locations, and it might be 40 by the end of next month. They’ve never offered delivery to their customers before outside of their website. We’re making that possible. That's a great win for them and for us. We had similar partnerships with companies like Pier One and Ace Hardware as well.
More fundamentally, we made a serious pivot from being a solely-B2C company into a more enterprise company. I think that was probably the biggest achievement overall from a business standpoint. It's hard to do that.
Getting everyone on the same page. If people are on board they understand then it's more likely that you can do it successfully.
The main thing we're working on every day is to improve the product and increase the number of customers who use it. The biggest change over the next 12 months should be that we’ll be trusted experts in the moving and delivery field.
Everyone here is passionate about what we’re doing and that goes a long way. That makes it much easier to get other people excited about GoShare, whether they are customers or drivers or journalists or investors. So I think that that's the one thing that I really like about this team - the passion.
Want to learn more about GoShare? Check them out here.