VentureWire, an online source for venture capitalist news from Dow Jones & Company, Inc., has reported that an online startup moving company has picked up some major funding recently. According to the article by Lora Kolondy, Bellhops Inc. has secured $13.5 million in a round of Series B funding led by Canaan Partners. The investors included the likes of Lowercase Capital, Bullet Time Capital and Binary Capital.
Bellhops Inc. is a small, startup moving company that mainly employs college students and caters mainly to DIY moving. Through their mobile app, a potential customer can contact Bellhops and book these students to help them move. They're not professional movers at Bellhops, so they don't actually transport the customers belongings, however, they will assist with packing, organizing, loading and unloading, or other labor-intensive parts of the moving experience. The student-movers are independent contractors, many of whom were recruited by friends who also work with Bellhops. It's the equivalent of Uber for the moving and storage industry. Customers and movers can even rate each other, just like on Uber, which helps Bellhops maintain the quality of its service. These practices have helped Bellhops enjoy growth over the last few years.
Since the company's founding in 2012, it has seen 500-600 percent growth year-over-year. They raised over $7 million in venture capital before the VentureWire article and are in more than 120 different cities. Their movers earn an average of $13 - $15 per hour. Bellhops contracts to more than 8,000 individuals, according to a 2014 article at timesfreepress.com.
While Bellhops is an exciting, new service in the nations growing suite of digital, on-demand services, it's important to note that it may not be for everyone. According the Bellhops website, the company isn't insured to move large or high-value specialty items, such as: antiques, gun safes or pianos. Also, Bellhops isn't a full-service moving company. They're better suited for those who already have a DIY move in mind but need an extra hand.
In an article by Kim Lyons for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Scott Michael, president and CEO of the American Moving & Storage Association, cautions customers to always carefully review all of their options.
He states, "It is also a good idea to get some estimates from full-service movers to compare the options and make an informed decision."
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