You just bought a new pad. You found a roommate. You packed your things. There’s only one thing standing in your way: moving. If you live in Boston, there’s a pretty high chance you don’t own a truck, or even a car. So where do you look first? Usually U-Haul, some other corporate moving service or, to their dissatisfaction, a friend or family member. Well, now there’s a new player that just hit start on the moving game.
The company is Dolly, an online moving and delivery service. By downloading the app on a phone or using the website, Dolly connects users to a network of local truck owners, who are at the ready to take care of the user’s moving and delivery needs. According to their website, Dolly aims to be “the Uber of moving” without the high cost, or stress.
Coming from backgrounds in tech, software, and management, the company was founded by Michael Howell (CEO), Chad Wittman (vice president of product), Jason Norris (senior software developer), and Kelby Hawn (designer and front-end developer).
Before the company was founded in early 2014, Howell had a thought in mind after hearing about Wittman’s grueling moving weekend from downtown Chicago to the suburbs: “Why is that still so hard, with all the technology and services and these things called smartphones, you’d think it be so much easier to move,” says Howell. Two weeks later, Howell purchased a barbecue, which required the help of his friend’s truck. Driving on the highway, he noticed the abundance of people driving pick up trucks and once again thought that these truck owners would most likely be willing to move this for him for a price. After that, Dolly was born.
With no background in moving or delivery services, Howell and Wittman saw an opportunity to “reimagine what that experience should look like based on what we want, [which is] what Dolly has become… how consumers get stuff from A to B, and use technology to really make that an experience that is optimized at every point for the consumer,” according to Howell.
After launching what Howell called an “alpha product” in Chicago, the app received positive customer feedback, according to Howell. Then, with an initial seed investment round by a number of firms including Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, Jeffery Wilke, the company launched in Seattle, Denver, San Diego and now Boston.
The reasoning for the Boston launch is Boston’s overall “big and blossoming market,” says Howell, with a high concentration of the types of audience the company is looking to serve, a dense, urban environment, and the opportunities to partner with retailers such as Lowe’s, Crate & Barrel and Big Lots to bring these big purchase items to the doors of consumers in this market.
After about a month launched in Boston, the Dolly team plans to create a strong presence in the area along with a number of other retailers. The app is currently available to use in select areas in the Greater Boston location.
Image: Photo courtesy of Dolly