There a lot of apps out there. In fact, there are about 700,000 for Android, according to Google. And the iPhone app store offers about 775,000. But most industry observers say there are only a few created by African Americans. Add one more to that list.
Urban Delivery app has been created by Ron Cade and Adrienne Sheares, both 26, to help busy DC folks. It is an 24-7 on-demand delivery app usable with iOS and Android devices. Through GPS-tracking, Urban Delivery users can get any carriable item delivered to them anywhere in DC in just about an hour by courier. They self-funded the initial start-up costs of $25,000.
Users pay $12.99 and up for the service to have one of Urban Delivery’s couriers purchase items for them up to $150. The purchases are subject to a 10 percent processing fee and 20 percent gratuity for couriers it added to the base rate. If a user is just sending the courier to pick up an item, there is no processing fee.
The app started because the pair saw a niche that needed to be addressed. “It’s something that I’ve needed time and time again. I hate running errands during the week because of traffic and parking. After rush hour, it’s a toss up if public transit will get you where you need to go. After chatting with several folks in the beginning stages of this project, everyone had an example of why they needed this service. We figured, why not?” says Sheares.
Urban Delivery CEO Cade adds, “A lot of people do not own cars in DC and getting things from one place to another can be challenging. I wanted to develop a tool to make the process easier.”
And the response has been fast. People have been downloading the app at a high clip. “The DC community has been very supportive of Urban Delivery. We’ve been going around town with our Urban Delivery bike so it’s fun to hear people’s excitement,” Sheares shares. “The responses when we actually deliver have been incredible. After one delivery, we were told we actually saved a relationship.”
Cade says the rapid growth has been a pleasant surprise. “The response has been awesome here. People have really taken to our product. I am really blown away by the levels of growth that we are seeing with the app week after week,” he says.
Because of immediate growth, Cade, a Howard Law School graduate, and Sheares, a John Hopkins University masters’ graduate, have had to be prepared to meet the fast demand. ”My main focus is growth. I constantly evaluate what is working and what is not. I try to do more of the earlier and eliminate the latter as quickly as possible,” says Cade. The two are now in the process of seeking larger investments from angel investors in order to sustain the growth and to plan for future expansion. “We’ve barely been in the beta version for a month so we’ve literally been all over DC letting everyone know about Urban Delivery. When we’re super busy, my co-founder Ron isn’t afraid to hop on his bike and make some deliveries,” says Sheares, chief marketing officer at Urban Delivery.
The company is in talks with local businesses and food trucks to solidify relationships. “This year, we hope to make several official partnerships so people can get their favorite DC goodies on demand,” explains Sheares.
In the long term, they are looking forward to offering the service to other states as well as serve the full D.C., Maryland, Virginia area.