Handy Delivery

GrubHub founder’s next project: home repair service

The same people who commoditized online food delivery are back with a similar idea in an altogether different realm. Mike Evans, one of the founders of the mega-popular online food delivery platform GrubHub, has jumped back into the game with Fixer, a parallel idea for the home repairs market. The platform is designed for skilled technicians such as plumbers, electricians, painters, or general handymen whose time is best utilized working a local circuit. Immediate benefits to the customer would be timely service without the worries of reorganizing your calendar to cater to a company’s time slots or waiting for the tech who shows up two hours late (it remains to be seen whether Comcast’s cable teams will suffer accordingly).

Other comparable apps exist, i.e. TaskRabbit, to connect customers with independent repair-related contractors. But a few distinctions may set Fixer apart. First, the startup plans to employ its workers full-time with benefits. This provides the assurance of a completed background check and liability protection for the customer. It also helps the worker, because the service is more likely to attract and retain people with a certified skill level…and shoring up the workforce appears to be a point of emphasis.

“We are creating a career path for gig economy workers. 

The demand for skilled workers has far outpaced supply in urban areas across the U.S. Fixer will give today’s workers in-demand skills, well beyond driving a car or cleaning a home. These skills, such as plumbing, electrical work, and home repair have been staples of local economies for generations. Our training programs enable people who want to learn skills, and improve the community along the way.”

-Fixer website: “Our Vision”

While the team is still sewing up the logistics—such as supplying vehicles for the ‘fixers’ (who currently drive their own cars to jobs), implementing a certification program, and opening dispatch centers—it has already received positive reviews in Chicago, its home base and trial city.

It’s likely an auspicious approach for Evans & Co., given their experience with the foundation of online delivery networks and coordination, combined with a customer base that will almost always place timely, quality service over any big brand or company name.

The venture is supported by $1 million from unnamed private investors, per Amina Elahi of Blue Sky Innovations via the Chicago Tribune. Fixer’s operations are headquartered out of the recently unveiled Chicago mHub innovation center.

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