The gig economy that started with Uber has grown to just about every service imaginable, including electricians, car washing, and dog grooming.
Entrepreneurs Clayton Floyd and Joseph Harwood have created one comprehensive app called mo-de to encompass many of the popular services.
The name stands for mobile on-demand economy.
Their goal is to replace Google as the best way to find nearby service providers who can work on your time.
“It’s going to come wherever the GPS says,” Harwood said. “We’re trying to speed the process up.”
“It’s going to come wherever the GPS says. We’re trying to speed the process up.”
The Dallas-based company launched a beta version of its app earlier this year on the Apple and Google Play stores. It’s been in development for two years. So far, it has only relied on friends and family funding for the company and want to retain full control as long as possible.
It has 25 companies signed up with about 100 employees right now.
That includes mobile car washers, plumbers, hair stylists, handymen, dog walkers, and groomers.
Short-term, mo-de wants to continue signing up service providers, then gain customers and traction so it can scale. Long-term, Floyd said he wants to seek outside funding so the company can expand to other Texas markets.
Before mo-de, Harwood worked in real estate as a broker, investor, and manager. He founded his own company, Elevation 6000 Investments.
Floyd is a familiar face in entrepreneurial circles having worked as a consultant, investor, and self-taught web developer. He also worked in an artificial intelligence startup and other tech-related ventures.
HOW THE APP WORKS
The service providers sign up and are vetted before they are allowed on the mo-de app. Once active, they can make themselves available and start taking gigs. Unlike other popular digital platforms, such as Thumbtack and Angie’s List, mo-de is free for companies to use and market themselves.
The startup tacks on a 15 percent fee for jobs booked through the app. The service providers get all the back-end services with customers paying through the app. The fee is capped at $15.
The service providers make themselves available so they populate on the map where customers can see them.
Customers can search for someone to do the gig now or schedule it for a specific time in the future. They’ll see ratings and reviews for the business before they hire them.
They can select to continue having that person perform that gig on a set schedule. There’s in-app messaging so people don’t have to give out their real phone number.
The app also lets the independent contractors rate the interaction with the customer. All the payments are handled seamlessly through Stripe with no checks or cash exchanged.
COMPETITORS IN THE GIG ECONOMY
Last year, another Dallas entrepreneur, Izzy DiChiara, founded a similar company called Happier House that used an app to quickly find the best price for home improvement jobs.
Now, DiChiara said he’s transitioning Happier House to a new venture. Expect more details on that soon.
The lawn service industry is perhaps the toughest shell to crack and one that mo-de doesn’t plan to do, at least this year.
Other on-demand providers such as Lawn Buddy and Robin already got a foothold in the lawn-mowing business this season before mo-de got its beta test off the ground.
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