A new year, a new start. For many, that means a new place to call home or getting rid of old items no longer needed. And a friend with a pickup can be the help you need to tackle those tasks.
That’s how Bungii, an Atlanta-based startup, got its start. Founder and CEO Ben Jackson said he had a packed day helping four friends move out at the end of the semester at Kansas State University with his pickup truck. After finishing the day, depleted and exhausted, Jackson thought there must be a better way. Then came the idea for Bungii, an app that puts a pickup at your fingertips to help move, haul and transport items around town.
Much like Uber, drivers with pickup trucks can signup on Bungii to earn an income by helping others haul items after passing a background check. Those in need of a haul simply take a picture of the items—such as a couch and a bookshelf—that need to be moved, get connected with a local driver upon request and then rate and pay their driver following the pickup. The app can even connect customers with drivers to pick up items from retailers such as Cost Plus World Market, Big Lots, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and West Elm.
“If you’re buying a couch on Craigslist, moving junk in your garage, that’s where Bungii comes in,” he said.
Since moving to Atlanta from Kansas City nearly two years ago, Bungii has scaled and grown exponentially, Jackson said. In August, the startup closed an oversubscribed $9.4 million Series A round. Though Jackson was advised by many to go out to the West Coast for funding, he stood his ground to find funding outside of California.
“I said I wanted to get this done outside of Silicon Valley,” he said. “This is just another proof point that things are changing for the tech community across the country. That’s exciting to me.”
Since the funding, Bungii has grown to 10 markets. Ironically, the moving startup contributes a majority of its success to moving to Atlanta. The company recently launched operations in Louisville and plans to continue that expansion to other cities this year.
“The vast majority of the funding is going to go towards fueling our national expansion. We’re launching city by city,” he said. “Money is going to go toward fueling our growth model. We’ll be able to launch in about 15 additional cities in a year and a half.”
Jackson, who was recently named among Forbes 30 Under 30 list, said he hopes to have a nationwide infrastructure layer of drivers, labor, technology and partners by the end of 2021. But the journey isn’t an easy feat, Jackson said, and growth brings on its own problems.
“I like to compare running a startup to Mike Tyson’s knockouts … I think I’m just really good at getting punched in the face. Every day is a challenge,” he said. “I’m just really proud of our team and their ability to push through and the success because of that.”
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