UniRunners operate a courier mobile app. We deliver anything including local food, alcohol and cigarettes
- Canterbury, United Kingdom
Categories: Automotive & Transport Mixed Digital/Non-Digital Mixed B2B/B2C
Uni Runners Limited is a 24 hour company that provides a delivery service in university towns, primarily aimed at students. We have created a beta version of our app, to gather feedback and traction. UniRunners is available on all mobile platforms; users can select items from our local shop list or they can call our controller and ask for bespoke items. In addition to local foods, users can also order alcohol and cigarettes. Once the items are selected and paid for, we send a courier to retrieve the goods and deliver them to the user.
My Co-founder attended University of Kent, out of his house mates he was the only driver with a car. I visited Canterbury regularly and noticed that his housemates made a habit of knocking his door and offering to buy him food if he drives them to Mc Donald's, or sometimes offering money to purchase cigarettes late at night. I designed the beta version of an app where his housemates could choose from a list of items they desired. My business partner and I would make the deliveries in our spare time. However, through word of mouth we realised a large amount of people had the same issue. We believe that local shops are too far for money conscious students, that travelling for items at night is difficult without a car and generally local delivery has a minimum delivery. In response to these problems, Uni Runners provides a service that links students to couriers via an app. The courier will pick up any item(s) the students request and deliver it to their door for a set delivery price.
Substantial accomplishments to date
We started trading and gaining revenue in October 2016. Through word of mouth we have received over 4000 downloads, 20,000 app visits and generated over £80,000 worth of transactions. We also offer our delivery services to business owners providing a direct link to their desired customer base.
UniRunners started entering into agreements with local restaurants to receive a percentage of orders generated through the app. We now receive deliveries from two university campuses in Canterbury. We have started hiring and have had several couriers that make deliveries or hand out flyers on the campus. We operate from an office that overlooks the town centre; we plan to hire interns from the university to start development of a FinTech app that would allow our drivers to pay for goods with our business account using their phones. We operate the drivers from the office and handle customers via calls and zen desk messaging on the app.
We already generate revenue. £80,000 worth of transactions since October last year. We have two main revenue streams. Firstly we apply set delivery charges, £3 for any item no minimum delivery, £4 at unsociable hours and 50p per extra shop.
In addition, most food is purchased at a discounted price using promotional offers. Students also order alcohol and cigarettes and we buy our 18+ items in bulk*. With this structure we want to scale our business across the UK starting with 4 Universities in the next 6 months, hopefully increasing our turnover and brand recognition.
*To the best of our knowledge, we are not required to obtain an alcohol selling licence at this stage, but this could be subject to change.
Use of proceeds
Firstly, we intend to hire a talented CTO that fits in our cash runway. Whilst we redevelop the app and develop the payment app, we aim to launch the beta version of the app in some test universities to work out different bugs in specific Universities. In addition to this, we intend hire a controller to help control the large amount of calls and messages once we launch.
This is our seed round and we intend to expand to 6 universities including Medway, Brunel, Exeter and York. Lastly we need to increase our marketing operations to improve brand recognition in the new areas. We hope to launch in the new academic year. Therefore we wish to prepare marketing rapidly and hire a CTO - position for which we have already identified and approached candidates.
Our product is primarily aimed at students. However, we also target local inhabitants of university towns and local restaurants with talent. UniRunners can link local restaurants directly to the students which are often target audiences in university towns.
Characteristics of target market
Between 2010 and 2015, the western European market for takeaway and delivery grew 2.2 per cent, to £18.4bn. We are targeting University areas because we believe we can dominate this specific part of the market. We are creating a e-commerce eco system in Canterbury where local restaurants can call to be included on our app, and local users can become couriers. Therefore even throughout the summer when universities are not running we believe we should still have a large flow of local business which would also help improve our customer relationships. We have had over 4000 downloads and receive an increasing number of deliveries a day. We currently have received over 20,000 app launches over 2 campuses in Canterbury.
We plan to execute several marketing campaigns across the universities including; opening stalls on freshers week, advertising in the university website and magazine, face to face leafleting and email notifications. However we want to increase our brand recognition and advertise using targeted ads on social media in addition local billboards and shops. Our company has previously grown through word of mouth, yet we wish to vastly increase our target users. We intend to deliver regular campaigns and demonstrations in town centres and campuses.
Our two main competitors are Deliveroo and Uber eats. However, we believe we have unique strategies.
• 24 hours. Unlike our competitors, we have a suggested timetables for our couriers, allowing them to earn more and enabling us to operate around the clock.
• Alcohol and Cigarettes. We are not only a food delivery application. Due to the high demand in university towns, we stock and sell our own alcohol and cigarettes.
• No minimum delivery. We aim to service everyone. We do not have a minimum delivery. We believe this should drive volume on our platform.
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