What do the Fast and Furious movies, hip hop, and Roadie have in common? All three have been improved by the involvement of rapper, producer, actor, entrepreneur Chris "Ludacris" Bridges. But what is Roadie? And why did Ludacris invest? Let's take a look.
Founded in 2005 and backed by Ludacris in 2015, Roadie (https://www.roadie.com/) is based in Atlanta, GA. Their goal is simple -- use unused space in cars already traveling across the country for creative shipping solutions. The major shipping companies -- FedEx, USPS, UPS -- all have pretty reasonably priced options for small, light objects. Once you get into the realm of larger, more awkward, or heavier objects, however, your bill skyrockets. At the same time, however, hundreds if not thousands of fellow Americans are making trips in their cars all around the country, often with free space in their vehicles. Roadie connects drivers naturally in transit with people who need their stuff delivered.
Shipping with Roadie
To illustrate, Roadie has developed this graphic to compare pricing between delivery with Roadie and traditional carriers.
Lets you ship for less both locally and nationally. Insurance for up to $500 is included, and available for up to $10,000 for additional cost.
Since your Roadie package is delivered by a person in their normal vehicle, the experience is much more personalized than using UPS, FedEx, etc. Essentially, I see Roadie as a fusion of services like Postmates or UberEats and UPS... you benefit both from the convenience of a large-scale shipping service and also from the personal touch and friendliness of the drivers. Moreover, you can send a very large variety of goods with Roadie. In their words, anything from "cupcakes to kittens to couches", as long as it's legal.
Driving for Roadie
In addition to shipping your stuff via Roadie, you can also drive for the tech startup. From what I have gathered, you can view driving for Roadie in two ways. First, you can purposefully make trips just to make money from fares. Alternatively, you can seek out gigs along routes you will naturally take. For example, going down to Florida for spring break? You could find a gig with a route that very closely matches your plans, and make some money on the way down by employing empty space in your car.
In my view, a huge value-added service that Roadie offers is pet delivery. To start, I have a dog and besides Roadie, I have no idea how I would even approach transporting him save for personally taking him in the car with me. We have taken Captain (my dog) on short trips before, between 1-3 hours, and it was less than fun as we were not experts in that endeavor. I also know you can fly with dogs, but from what I understand it is pretty uncomfortable for them and many have to be medicated during the flight.
To answer problems such as these, Roadie offers pet delivery. Owners can personally choose their pets' drivers, track their pets' route in real time, and access 24/7 customer support.
So there's the basic run down of Roadie, an exciting and creative transportation startup. Why did Ludacris invest? My theory is that Roadie has done a phenomenal job designing a practical yet engaging product with large potential. Even though Roadie isn't that big right now -- you probably hadn't heard of it before this article -- I believe that in the next few years, you and I might experience shipping something or driving for Roadie ourselves.
We are happy to feature Roadie here at Drover as they are a phenomenal example of another tech startup using smartphone technology to innovate in the transportation industry.