Most people likely do not think much of the drive to work or other trips, but Danish startup Trunkbird is hoping that they will consider the option of earning a bit of extra income by delivering packages along the way.
Trunkbird appears to be pretty straight-forward, with users getting started by indicating whether they are looking to ship or whether they are hoping to earn a bit by running deliveries. In order to ship, users are not surprisingly required to make an account (through Facebook or the site itself), and then provide a short (like a sentence) description of the task, indicate how large it is (Trunkbird has come up with 5 categories), offer a photo (ideally), and then indicate where and when you would like to meet the delivery person. From there, interested delivery people submit bids and a deal is ostensibly reached. Then, 24 hours after the job is completed, the money is transferred to the delivery person. Similar to other marketplaces, Trunkbird charges a commission on the transactions that they process, taking a 10% in this instance.
One of the nice aspects of this service is that they state up front that they partner with First Marine to insure items valued at up to 1,500 Euro, but Trunkbird also notes that they have processed more than 1,000 tasks and never needed to involve the insurance company.
Like a lot of startups, the idea for Trunkbird was born out of necessity. In this case, co-founder Daniel Nyvang had some things that he needed to retrieve from his parents’ home, but they lived 300km away and shipping the items proved to be prohibitively expensive. So, he ended up taking to Facebook, where he found a friend who was making that journey anyway and was willing to grab the items and make the journey, in exchange for gas money. Although this particular issue was resolved, Nyvang figured that others were facing the same challenge and decided to create a platform through which anyone can become a delivery driver in this same manner.
Trunkbird was founded in 2014, but they have had a bit of difficulty in getting the business going, as they first created a minimal version of the service in April of that year and then, after completely re-doing their site’s graphic layover in July and August, realized that they could not scale it. So, they ended up being a completely new backend and frontend of the site earlier this year, with that version remaining in beta.
Like many startups, they are targeting geographic expansion, focusing currently on the Danish and German markets (although the founding team is Danish, they are actually currently based in Berlin), but ultimately spreading across Europe. Helping them in that effort is 120,000 Euro, which they have obtained from a couple of angel investors.