Austin Delivery Startup Dropoff Expands Beyond Texas to LA
Austin—Dropoff founder and CEO Sean Spector makes it a point to emphasize that the Austin, TX-based startup is a delivery service for businesses.
“We are an extension of these businesses and their brands,” he says. “We deliver valuable medication, sensitive documents … parts for an airplane. These are these businesses’ everyday needs.”
His insistence on making that point lies in the fact that the tech landscape seems to be awash with other delivery service companies, mostly focused on food. There’s Favor (also Austin-based), Doordash, and many others—even Uber has UberEats.
What makes Dropoff different from those companies is that the startup is strictly business-to-business and focused on activities that are essential to the everyday running of those businesses, Spector says.
These activities are the sort of mundane, back-office duties such as sending legal documents or medical samples across town. The company’s idea is to modernize these functions using software and geo-location and by providing service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Spector says that Dropoff also does a deeper vetting of its drivers to ensure they are the best ambassadors for both Dropoff and the client company. Other delivery companies “are just focused on quantity,” he says. “For example, all of our drivers are HIPAA-certified because we do have healthcare clients.” (HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which governs the use and handling of health information.)
The startup, which was launched in Austin in 2014 and has operations in Texas’s major cities, began its Los Angeles service today. Dropoff so far has raised about $7 million in venture funding; its lead investor is Greycroft Partners, which has offices in Los Angeles and New York. Spector declined to say how many drivers are working for the startup but said most of them are contractors.
Dropoff employs about 40 people, and its customers include Whole Foods, the JW Marriott, and Cushman & Wakefield Oxford Commercial, the company says.
The startup’s focus on business activities doesn’t mean Dropoff can’t deliver a food order, Spector says. But it’s pretty different from a consumer app, he says. “We don’t deliver one cheeseburger for someone’s lunch; we deliver 100 cheeseburgers for a catered lunch or party for a business.”