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This NYC Startup Brings Logistics to SMS

 

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We are shipping items of all kinds at an unprecedented rate; but where is the personalization? Nearly every other tech-related market is personalized precisely to what we want, but shipping is often just an impersonal click away. Shipchat is changing this by letting you SMS all of your questions while personalizing your request with a real person. We know you are texting anyways, so why not take care of shipping logistics while you are at it.

AlleyWatch chatted with ShipChat’s founder Matt Guarneri and got the details on the recently launched Startup.

Tell us about the product or service.

We do 3PL (third party logistics) & consumer logistics. ShipChat connects customers to carriers nationwide through conversational commerce.

How is it different?

ShipChat offers cheaper logistics/transportation services by automating the brokerage operation and passing those savings onto the customer. ShipChat’s core product is a messenger chatbot which automates FAQs for customers and dispatches truck loads to owner/operator truck drivers via SMS.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

LTL, Auto Transport, Houshold Goods, Local Parcels/Messenger/Express Delivery Services.

What is the business model?

ShipChat charges a fixed booking fee plus a percentage of the total shipping tariff. The percentage based tariff is split between drivers and customers. The flat rate booking fee is paid by the shipper.

What inspired the business?

As a logistics/transport business owner, I noticed most of the company’s operation could be digitized and automated by software, thus significantly reducing the cost of operating the business and increasing profitability.

From your data, what is the most popular use of your app?

Too soon to say. ShipChat is still pre-PMF stage.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

We plan to have a more robust shipchat chatbot deployed acorss virtually every digital marketing channel and a more robust app native to android and iOS to enhance the user experience.

What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

Too much focus on market analysis may hinder early experimentation and enable fear of early attempts at product/business development. In other words, move fast and learn from the results.

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

Jaime Dimon, Brian Moynihan, John Buttrick, Fred Wilson. I’m curious to learn the inner workings of a global organization from senior managers and pick the brains of successful VCs.

Why did you launch in New York?

I live here.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

The Finch in Clinton Hill Brooklyn.

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About the author: AlleyWatch

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