Meet Favor, the startup delivering anything you want within one hour
The On Demand Economy has dozens of options for food delivery, cab services, courier services, etc. Favor does a little extra than all of these. It is an On Demand delivery service, that can get its customers anything they want from any store in their city delivered within an hour. Favor App lets customers browse through the list of featured items to order what they want, or enter the items from any other store which is in Favor’s delivery zone. It is known to ensure each favor be executed perfectly with respect to timeliness and quality both for the customers and the vendors. Along with quality, Favor is also working on its expansion. With operations in 18 US cities as of 2015, Favor will be expanding in more cities of Canada & the USA in year 2016.
Some Facts About Favor:
Startup Vertical: On-Demand logistics.
Headquarters: Austin, Texas
Funding Received: $15.66M
Founders: Zac Maurais, Chris Labasky, Ben Doherty
Founded on: July 4, 2012
We had a conversation with Zac Maurais and Ben Doherty about this amazing idea. Here is all that they said.
Q) Starting an on-demand delivery dog walking service is definitely a great idea. Tell us a little about Favor and your personal motivation for starting this service?
Growing up, cofounders Ben & Zac were best buds in high school.
They worked together at a small restaurant where we delivered pizzas. One day they had an idea. They thought it would be cool if there was a way to deliver from any local store or restaurant. They didn’t know where to start — so summer of 2011 they bought a ‘Coding for Dummies’ book with a few friends. They couldn’t read the thousand page book at the same time, so they cut the book into pieces using a bread knife and started reading.
Favor originally came up through an incubator program called Boost, where they just sold burritos and beer to college students at Cal Poly. Users of this app could push a button for beer, a button for burritos, or both, and await their deliveries. The app was popular but users wanted more. The beer and burrito service was an outgrowth of our original company: NeighborFavor. This forerunner gave people the chance to request favors, such as deliveries and rides, from each other. Having started with a complex, high-concept model, then going to a stripped down food delivery service, the best of both worlds was found in between — today’s Favor app.
Q) Can you give us a rundown of how it works?
After you download the app, choose one of our featured items or enter the items you would like from any restaurant or store in our delivery zone. Editing the details of your Favor is simple and placing your Favor only takes three taps.
After you order your Favor, it is assigned to one of our Runners, aka your personal delivery assistant, who will complete your delivery.
Payment is secure and cashless and takes place right in the app. All payment information is saved securely so you only need to enter it once.
Q) What is the value proposition you are offering to users ?
Favor is helping you get anything you want in your city delivered in under an hour. Eventually, we want everyone to think of Favor before picking up their keys.
Q) You are present in select cities as of now. Do you plan to launch services in new regions? If yes, what would be your strategy?
We will absolutely be expanding into new cities and areas. We always put customer service first before growing too quickly.
Q) Could you shed some light on the technology and tools used to build Favor ?
We are a high-touch logistics business. Our algorithms help customers get items quickly, and we’re able to spot and fix problems before they happen. We are focused on creating technology for all of the different stakeholders in our ecosystem — that is, the consumers who order from us, the merchants who partner with us, and the runner who pick up and make deliveries.
Runners are face of the company. We have built systems and tools that empower our runners to provide best in class service. Since day one, we set a high bar for our customer service and operations processes. As we look forward, we’re dedicated to making investments in customer service that keep us at the front of the pack when it comes to earning and keeping the trust of runners, customers, and merchants.
Q) What is one particular Marketing Tool or process you swear by that has helped you gain more users on the platform?
Customers absolutely love the product and service; in fact, they are the primary driver of our growth through word of mouth. The convenience factor, speed of delivery and quality of service are why so many customers keep coming back. Businesses like us for different reasons. We bring them new and repeat customers and provide a service that they traditionally haven’t been able to offer.
Q) What are your future plans? Are you planning to integrate more features in the service?
We are currently focused on our operations and technology. At the heart of it, we’re a high-touch logistics business. Improving the service and delivering it at scale is all about investing in operations and technology.
Q) What is Favor’s biggest achievement to date? How did you go about accomplishing this?
In 2016 alone, Favor has already expanded into 5 new cities — bringing our total up to 23 cities across the US and Canada.
The secret to our success have been our obsession with having every Favor run perfectly, and we do that by empowering the Runners. We’ve truly learned what it takes to create a reliable service and brand that people love and are really excited to recreate this magic in other cities across the country.
Q) Where do you see Favor in five years?
Our plan is to accelerate the expansion of the service into new cities, both here in the U.S. as well as internationally. As we do this, we will be heavily focused on perfecting our operations to ensure that we continue to deliver the level of service our customers have come to expect from us, at scale.
Q) Any advice for startups trying to make it big or join the On-Demand space?
Have passion and perseverance. Once you’ve decided you are going to dedicate two years of your life to your startup and are going to put in as much time as you possibly can, the next hardest thing is learning how to always spend your time focused on the right things.
When you’re super passionate about your dream, it’s easy to focus on the wrong thing and try to skip from A to Z rather than going from A to B. Besides learning how to code & design, most of our first year of work wasn’t actually used in the product that we ended up finding product market fit with and scaled.