Get sunscreen and a burrito in an hour – Postmates on-demand delivery expands to Phoenix

With the hot temperatures barreling down on the desert, having ice cream with sprinkles and a cookie delivered to me on a moments notice sounds a lot like heaven. The frozen delight is just one of the many items Postmates, an on-demand delivery service, will bring to you within the hour for a fee.
The San Francisco-based company officially announced their expansion to the Valley of the Sun. The company is geared up and expanding their team of couriers to bring customers just about anything from a local store or restaurant to their door within the hour.
The company said they decided to expand to Phoenix at this time because it “…was the natural next city because of the population and density. Also, with ASU being in the zone, we knew it was the right city to go to next.”
Postmates is currently operating in 22 markets (which translates to roughly 60 cities) and the company said they plan to be in 50 markets by the end of 2015. Couriers have made just over 1.5 million deliveries to date and in 2014 they’ve delivered from 36,000 merchants.
Since their launch in 2011, Postmates has raised a total of $58 million including their latest Series C round of $35 million led by Spark Capital.
In addition, the company recently launched “an open API that enables merchants to build on top of our platform and leverage our fleet for on-demand deliveries,” they stated.
Postmates does not up-charge the cost of the item, instead they make their money on delivery fees that start at five dollars and the total is determined by the distance from pick-up to drop-off, and the capacity of the platform. Additionally, a 9 percent service fee is applied to the purchase price of the items. In a report by TechCrunch Postmates “…collects 20 percent of the delivery fee and the other 80 percent, [plus] tips goes to the courier.”
To get started, once the app is activated, the customer completes a profile and can begin searching for a particular product or business. Postmates also set up a General Store with more commonly used household products that one could easily pick up at a Walgreens or CVS. Once the customer completes their customized order and click “Get it now,” it’s off to the races. Postmates’ app has an UBER-like feel where the customer receives a photo, name and rating of the courier, can track the progress and provide feedback about the experience.
Valley cities available for Postmates delivery include Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tempe. Before they add more cities, the company said they want to make sure “one hour delivery is possible with the amount of couriers that we have. As the fleet grows, we will expand the zone.”
To kick off their Phoenix launch, the company is pairing up with hyper-local businesses to deliver some special items that residents would appreciate. “We find things that are unique to the area. For example, this weekend we’ll be delivering English muffins from La Grande Orange,” the company said. Yum. “Since we pick up from anywhere, we give our users a lot of choice, which makes us different from any of the other services.”
Richie Fredell, Postmates Operations Manager-New Market Development, commented on the expansion, “Phoenix will be an amazing market for us. I never knew how up-and-coming the tech scene is here. I’ve launched in a bunch of different cities and there is a great sharing economy [in Phoenix]. I’m looking forward to Postmates becoming a part of everyone’s day-to-day life.”
As for delivering that ice cream in 100 degrees? The company said, “We give each Postmate an insulated bag when they start, which keeps hot food hot and cold food cold. Each Postmate has their own way of keeping food at the right temperature.” I’m going to suggest plenty of ice to go in those courier bags.
Stay tuned, I’ll be reviewing the Postmates service in the coming week.
Who else is expanding to Phoenix?