The food delivery market is estimated to be $102B and the new delivery market will reach $25B by 2025 according to a recent McKinsey report. As a result, the demand for couriers is expanding and EpiFruit is leading this growing trend. The company’s platform connects local businesses with local freelance couriers that handle the delivery aspect for businesses. Operating on Android, iOS and the web, merchants are quickly able to sign up to offer delivery services to their customers, a critical feature for businesses in a city like New York where consumers are accustomed to get everything of demand. The economics of employing your own staff for deliveries is just feasible for many companies and EpiFruit alleviates this pain pain point.
AlleyWatch chatted with cofounder Rohan Duggal about the company, its origin, and what it plans to deliver next.
Tell us about EpiFruit.
We’re a market-based platform that connects businesses—particularly in NYC at this moment —with couriers in a 20-block radius that can help fulfill the businesses’ needs as far as delivering product to their customers, or internally.
It’s beneficial to both parties. The delivery partner and the retailer both get to partake in the pricing structure by negotiating the price of the delivery with each other through the app. It’s pretty fast and easy. It’s also targeting businesses where most applications of this sort target consumers.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We are targeting retailers in Manhattan and delivery partners across the five boroughs.
What is the EpiFruit business model?
We are helping businesses fulfill last-mile solutions to get product to their customers.
How do you plan on scaling outside of the city?
Hopefully through partnerships and word-of-mouth marketing. We plan on listening to our market’s needs in the beginning and really creating a solid product that will penetrate the NYC market first.
What inspired the business?
I am a retailer in NYC who deals with the struggles of having to do deliveries every day in the city, and the cost of doing deliveries in NYC has jumped dramatically as the minimum wage law has made it very difficult for me to operate doing deliveries under a reasonable cost.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
100 shops signed up along with 2000 delivery people on the site. Hopefully 600-700 active delivery partners a day, and shops averaging 5-8 deliveries a day as they get used to our platform.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Learn about the technology that exists already and how it can help improve your platform, and don’t go cheap when it comes to creating the product.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
That’s a great question — not sure the answer to that. I’d have to say that I’d love to meet retail industry leaders, such as the head of operations of Whole Foods, the person involved with Duane Reade, the Tao Group, etc. I’d love to meet them and see how delivery has become a part of their business strategy, what their pain points are, and learn how EpiFruit can better serve them in general.
Why did you launch in New York?
We launched in NYC, as I’ve operated and started countless businesses here. I have a strong network here, which is key in a product like EpiFruit, and I understand the market very well in what customers are looking for, and thus what retailers need to provide them.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?