Same-day mobile shopping app SixDoors has been iterating on its idea of local product delivery since August, but only with the latest version released just weeks ago has the app really found its footing. Since the new release, SixDoors has doubled its user base, and now offers San Francisco residents a way to shop from their iPhone at over 60 local retailers and have their items delivered in as fast as 90 minutes.
The company has also now closed on $600,000 in seed funding from Kima Ventures, and other angel investors, some of whom had backed founder Pascal Levy-Garboua’s earlier efforts, including founder and CEO of Vente-Privee, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, and others.
Levy-Garboua, who created SixDoors with Thorsten Lubinski (CTO), previously co-founded virtual assistant service VirtuOz which was acquired by Nuance this January. He left the company in 2011, however, to help advise other startups. He sat on the board at Producteev (sold to Jive), for example, and helped get IQ Engines acquired by Yahoo for $30-something million.
Now, he’s focusing on a more local project with this “anti-Amazon” play.
The idea, Levy-Garboua tells us, is to get people to buy from their city’s brick-and-mortar retailers. “Our goal is to support local businesses,” he says.
“I’ve always admired small business owners,” Levy-Garboua adds. “I’m a city person. I love cities, and when you love cities, it’s all the stores, restaurants, cafes, and businesses that surround you that make your city interesting.”
With SixDoors, users can browse through curated collection of goods, or shop by category. And in the newer release, they can also build out their own shopping list through a “gift concierge” feature which offers suggestions and ideas. There is a broad selection of products in SixDoors from a variety of San Francisco-based indie retailers, including those selling items for the home, food, drinks, gifts, as well as items for men, women and children. Clothing, though, is not a focus for the app.
The process of actually purchasing the item is not too different from any other m-commerce experience, except that, after paying, you’re prompted to provide an address and time slot for accepting your delivery.
SixDoors’ couriers are available from 10 AM to 9 PM to make deliveries. (The company uses its own independent contractors as couriers.) SixDoors takes a percentage of the sales and charges an additional $6 per delivery for now, even when you’re ordering from multiple stores. The delivery fee will be waived beginning tomorrow through Christmas as a part of a holiday promotion. SixDoors is also offering email and Skype gift help via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The company currently has seven employees, who also do deliveries themselves. It has partially spent the new funding as the raise took place over a longer time frame than usual, Levy-Garboua explains, saying how he made the mistake of working while raising at the same time, this go-round. Now the focus is on growing the SixDoors footprint, and managing the inbound requests from other stores interested in being on the service, too.
SixDoors joins a number of other local, same-day delivery services operating in the region including Postmates, Instacart, newly launched Lasso, and others, as well as efforts from major players like AmazonFresh, eBay Now, and Google Shopping Express. However, it’s more focused on shopping for gifts, which may or may not include food or drink items. And it’s not necessarily meant for more general purpose needs like office supplies, small electronics purchases, or other things which you would normally consider among your “errands.”
SixDoors is a free download here in iTunes.