JoyRun—the first peer‐to‐peer platform for social, affordable, and rewarding group deliveries serving communities—announced its Series A fundraise and officially launched to all college markets nationwide. College campuses have been the company’s initial focus since launching in beta in 2015, and the funding will support JoyRun’s growth to all U.S. colleges and its expansion plans to offices and neighborhoods later this year.
The company raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Floodgate and $1.3 million in seed funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Both rounds received participation from Visionnaire Ventures, Morado Ventures, CrunchFund, Triplepoint Capital, and a series of high-profile angel investors.
JoyRun connects people in a given geographical region, currently those on or near college campuses, through a social feed that matches buyers with runners planning to make the runs to local eateries, coffee shops, hardware stores, and more in the area. Buyers can easily view, pay, and track their order, and can chat with others about potential JoyRuns.
With this pooled approach to delivery, JoyRun has shown to cut down on both costs and delivery time, while increasing the order size for local businesses. High costs, slow delivery times, and inconsistent service plague the $210 billion delivery market today – a problem solved by JoyRun. Over the past year, JoyRun has successfully proven its peer-to-peer platform on 50 college campuses across the U.S., from U.C. Davis to the University of Alabama.
“Today’s delivery services are the black car version of Uber that serve just the technology hubs of San Francisco and New York. The world needs something that is not only convenient but cost-effective,” says Manish Rathi, JoyRun co-founder and CEO. “With JoyRun we’re building an entirely new category for the 99 percent by connecting and empowering local communities to foster their own UberPool-like service.”
One of the many features that distinguish JoyRun is its social feed, where users browse food runs upcoming or now underway, and chat with other JoyRunners. This social side of JoyRun has fostered a community-driven mentality to deliveries, as demonstrated by the 20% of buyers who also conduct runs.
“JoyRun's P2P group delivery is a game changer. It's the only business we've seen that is able to scalably transform the delivery model and make the economics work. When we looked at how Joyrun was performing on college campuses, we knew Floodgate had to invest, in what we see as a new category, which will transform the delivery market," says Ann Miura-Ko, a partner at Floodgate.
JoyRun’s technology orchestrates these spontaneous connections by bringing together people through a truly social, local, and mobile movement.
“Food delivery has seen only minor incremental changes to the challenging operational issues, and no previous startup had really changed the unit economics in a sustainable way,” says Josh Goldman, general partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “JoyRun’s social commerce approach activates local communities and makes the experience much more rewarding for consumers, while its inherent order aggregation model finally fixes the economics of the category. We also love that JoyRunners are constantly broadcasting their affinity for brands and providing real value for local businesses.”
JoyRun’s approach makes group deliveries rewarding by offering a convenient experience for students looking to set personal financial goals—some students have made up to $1,500 a month through JoyRun.
“When I discovered JoyRun, it was the answer to all my problems,” says Sheridan, a sophomore JoyRunner at the University of Alabama, who is saving money to adopt a shelter dog. “It’s an easy way to make money without having to maintain the hours of a regular job. This allows me to stay focused on getting my degree.”
Small businesses have also seen how powerful the platform is: Lazi Cow, a coffee and dessert shop in Davis, California, now sees over 80 percent of its deliveries happening on JoyRun.
“JoyRun has been a game changer in proving our business,” says Jimmy Phu of Lazi Cow, a local eatery near the U.C. Davis campus. “Through JoyRun delivery sales alone we’ve been able to pay off our monthly rent. It’s brought in an entirely new revenue stream for us. ”
JoyRun, which started in 2015, is now growing 50 percent month over month, and beginning today, is now available to unlock on all college campuses nationwide. JoyRun plans to launch later this year in select cities to be available to offices and neighborhoods around the country.