Postmates is sort of like a modern version of the taxi dispatching software that Twitter creator Jack Dorsey had worked on as a kid. Except it’s available for businesses and consumers today in San Francisco, if you download its iPhone app (here).
It lets you place an order for a delivery, notifies nearby couriers and bike messengers, then one of them accepts and picks up the package and brings it to you. Then you’ll get an email with a link that lets you track the delivery as it makes its way to you. Pricing is based on the item being delivered, distance, and other factors. It’s obviously also a lot like Uber.
The service has been in closed beta with 50 or so businesses in the past months, with 1000 deliveries so far (check out this section of its site for more details on that). The first 100 readers here can get a $20 discount by using the following discount code: TECHCRUNCH. It was also a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist.
The company, which was just founded in May, is also announcing a new round of $800,000 in funding from investors including Crosslink Capital, which follows a previous round of $750,000.
Cofounder Bastian Lehmann tells me that the focus so far is local businesses, any company that wants to access its API, and consumers. While it’s looking at expanding to other cities in the next year, likely including New York and Los Angeles, it’s also looking at more sparsely populated areas, like suburbs. So far it’s been recruiting experienced couriers, but in those areas it could bring in less experienced people, he says.
Here’s a visualization of the deliveries so far, with red being the heaviest usage. Looks like there are a lot of exports to the other parts of the Bay.