Indianapolis startup tries to disrupt on-demand food delivery – Axios

This is the same model used by Peach in the Seattle area to provide catered office meals. The central kitchen and delivery model will have its place, but it will not be a boon for local restaurants.

How it works: Unlike other food delivery services that pick up orders at restaurants all over town and deliver them to your door, Clustertruck owns the whole operation. Its kitchen makes 160 items, from pad Thai to pizza, and employs its own delivery team. Deliveries are free and are made within 21 minutes, Baggott said.

Source: Indianapolis startup tries to disrupt on-demand food delivery – Axios

Lyft hires Katie Dill as VP of Design | TechCrunch

Katie Dill’s assessment of Lyft’s hospitality heritage is important to understanding the different approach Lyft has taken to the market. John Zimmer has described cars as turning into moving rooms where services are delivered. It’s also important to remember that Dara Khosrowshahi, the new CEO of Uber, comes from Expedia and hospitality. Alliances that complete travel experiences instead of only patching them together with rides, are the next conquest in on-demand mobility.

Dill thinks that her experience at Airbnb should offer a lot of crossover for her role at Lyft. Both are hospitality businesses, she says (and Lyft co-founder John Zimmer’s background in hospitality truly shows in Lyft’s approach, according to Dill), and. both are double-sided marketplaces where the key to good design is balancing the experience of both service providers and service users.

Source: Lyft hires Katie Dill as VP of Design | TechCrunch

Amazon and Walmart battle for ‘permanent underclass’ – Business Insider

Firms preparing to “serve a permanent underclass” will eventually be called to question over having contributed to the rise of a permanent underclass in the first place. Walmart and, particularly, Amazon, have the ability to create prosperity, not just serve those who miss out on prosperity.

As department stores like Sears and Macy’s have struggled to grow sales, dollar stores and other super-budget retailers are dominating. From 2010 to 2015, dollar store sales grew from $30.4 billion to $45.3 billion in the US. In September, dollar stores and discount stores attracted more purchases than any other type of store, according to a Gordon Haskett survey of roughly 500 households.

Source: Amazon and Walmart battle for ‘permanent underclass’ – Business Insider

Amazon smartphone app now allows ordering from dozens of restaurants

Amazon expands a trial restuarant delivery program.

The restaurant take-out service is already available for orders from T.G.I. Fridays as of July and will expand to include restaurants in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington D.C. — and, of course, the Seattle area.

Source: Amazon smartphone app now allows ordering from dozens of restaurants

The gig economy is here – and we aren’t ready – The Globe and Mail

Canadian stats.

The transformation to a gig economy is happening at an astonishing speed in Canada. According to staffing company Randstad Canada, if you add up all the contingent workers, freelancers, independent contractors and consultants, you are talking about 20 to 30 per cent of the Canadian workforce being “non-traditional workers” already. That percentage is only going higher. Eighty-five per cent of the companies surveyed by Randstad figure that they will increasingly move to an “agile workforce” over the next few

Source: The gig economy is here – and we aren’t ready – The Globe and Mail

San Francisco Suspends Chariot Service in Inspection Paperwork Debacle | WIRED

Rules, they still apply and despite being a pain in the ass help to keep riders safe.

Chariot had been suspended in California. (It also operates in Seattle, Austin, and New York.) Late Thursday afternoon, as rush hour bore down upon the City by the Bay, the California Public Utilities Commission yanked the service’s operating license. Chariot had failed three routine inspections by the California Highway Patrol, as officials found not all of its drivers had the right licenses to operate the company’s 14-person passenger vans.

Source: San Francisco Suspends Chariot Service in Inspection Paperwork Debacle | WIRED

Kansas City Startup launches grass-fed beef delivery services – Silicon Prairie News

Curated food. Delivery. It’s only a matter of time before River Watch Beef adds subscriptions.Then, the business growth question is how to match the grass-fed beef to everything else on the customer’s table.

Kansas City-based River Watch Beef recently announced an expansion of their regional delivery service to include all 48 contiguous states. Chris Kovac, founder of the food startup, said that beef and commodity markets can be hard to anticipate so to solve that problem, the company takes their product directly to consumers.

Source: Kansas City Startup launches grass-fed beef delivery services – Silicon Prairie News

How online logistics platform Trukky is bringing transparency in the trucking ecosystem — YourStory.com

Logistics and delivery services are less sexy than an “online marketplace,” but likely more profitable in the short run. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is a dull business category.

Trukky is an aggregator and online logistics platform, delivering agricultural products to heavy industrial products in more than 50 locations in India. The brand aims to deliver on-demand quality service at a competitive price and back every shipment with technology and customer support service. Facilitating online booking and payment through mobile app and web, Trukky offers a single-stop solution for pan-India deliveries, catering to all logistics requirements of a customer on the go. Though the brand’s

Source: How online logistics platform Trukky is bringing transparency in the trucking ecosystem

Car leasing app Fair drives away with funding – PE Hub

Subscription automobile companies have sprung out of individual carmakers (Cadillac, Volvo, and Audi) but Fair appears to be ready to aggregate the business, offering a choice of cars from a variety of manufacturers. Drivers can return a car with five-days’ notice.

The company announced an undisclosed amount invested by BMW i Ventures and $1 billion in capital to support its leasing financing service.

Fair, an app that provides the first fully digital end-to-end way to get a car with the flexibility to return it anytime, announced today it is closing a strategic funding round led by BMW i Ventures that includes investments from Penske Automotive Group and other strategic investors. Fair’s innovative offering allows customers to shop for a car they want and can afford based on a pre-qualified monthly payment range tailored to their budget, and includes the flexibility to walk away at any time.

Source: Car leasing app Fair drives away with funding – PE Hub

Stitch Fix Is the Anti-Uber Silicon Valley Startup – Bloomberg Gadfly

The personal stylist automation offered by Stitch Fix seems to attract but not retain customers with the reliability retail did for Nordstom and others. The article reports that sales per converted customer slows after six months, a year, and two years. Raising retention and revenue per customer will be the priority for IPO funding.

This is what professionally managed startups can look like: Stitch Fix generated close to $1 billion in revenue in its fiscal year ending in July, a nice but not out-of-bounds 34 percent higher than the prior year. Unlike many other tech startups, negative numbers are rare in Stitch Fix’s financial statements. It generates impressive gross margins, hasn’t splurged on marketing and manages to eke out a small operating profit.

Source: Stitch Fix Is the Anti-Uber Silicon Valley Startup – Bloomberg Gadfly