“Think about it as a market place to let people outsource their errands,” says GoGet co-founder Francesca Chia.
What do you do when you really, really, really want that dress that will go on sale that morning but have to be at work?
Go get a GoGetter, of course. And that was what a customer did last year when a highly-anticipated new clothing range was to be launched by a popular fashion retailer in Kuala Lumpur.
She offered RM100 on the GoGet platform for someone to stand in line and buy the dress for her. Someone did, and she got her dress.
As daily life gets busier, traffic heavier and to-do list ever longer, such services have become popular. More and more firms have popped up to offer to run errands for busy folk, for a fee.
But GoGet goes a bit further. Instead of hiring people to be errand-runners, it has set up a system to tap the legions of Malaysians out there with time and energy to spare to be a GoGetter.
GoGet is a platform that connects those who want to get chores done, and those who will do it for them, for a fee. The chores are posted up on its website along with the proposed fee, and the first GoGetter to respond gets the job.
“Think about it as a market place to let people outsource their errands,” said its co-founder Francesca Chia who started the platform with two friends a year ago.
GoGet’s role is not just to connect the two but also to break down the trust barrier. It does so by vetting the GoGetters who have to prove their identity through three photo IDs, as well as sign a statutory declaration that they have not been involved in criminal activities.
“We take this seriously. We meet every GoGetter face to face for an assessment and training before they can join the team,” Chia said.
The 1,000 GoGetters are a mix of students, retirees, stay-at-home moms, freelancers as well as those with full-time jobs.
Most get around RM20 for a job.
Most of the chores are deliveries, usually of delicate items like lunch boxes, cakes and flowers. Sometimes, GoGetters are asked to queue up to buy things, or to get people to fill up survey forms. A GoGetter has even delivered machinery from Johor Baru to Kuala Lumpur.
The more memorable chores, said Chia, was one who asked a GoGetter to get last-minute cupcakes and flowers for a proposal, and another one who asked a GoGetter to deliver flowers while reciting jokes to the recipient!
What GoGet does not do, however, is purely digital work like data entry.
Barring some minor hitches like damaged or late deliveries, the first year has gone fairly smoothly. They have completed some 10,000 chores, with about 60% for businesses, and the rest for individuals.
GoGet has successfully built a brandname, despite a bare minimum of marketing usually through collaboration with other companies. For example, it has recently tied up with the restaurant app Eat Drink KL which offers discounts on meals bought using its app. Now, GoGetters will deliver those meals.
But what GoGet has yet to achieve, is profit.
It started up with less than RM50,000, funded by the three co-founders who are all below 30. The first year was spent building up the platform and user base, with an RM150,000 grant from the government agency Cradle for product development.
Chia said they are now looking to monetise it, and has begun a pilot project to manage logistics for companies for a management fee.
“We have piloted with three companies, and will figure out how to scale it,” she said.
For now, and in the near future, though, it will not charge GoGetters or those using the service. The platform will remain free of charge.