Same-day delivery services startup Dolly has raised $7.5 million in new capital to fund expansion and increase its operational and technical teams, raising its venture funding total to $20 million.
The latest round was led by Unlock Venture Partners, whose partner Andy Liu became a director of Dolly, with support from original investors Maveron and Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. Wilke’s participation is interesting as Dolly touts its ability to help merchants compete with the ecommerce giant, which offers Prime Now deliveries in as little as one hour.
Launched in 2014, Dolly has completed tens of thousands of deliveries for clients including Big Lots, Costco, The Container Store, Best Buy, Crate & Barrel and Lowe’s. Its same-day delivery service is available in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, CA, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
With the latest funding round, Dolly plans to expand to 15-20 new markets this year. The company’s app taps into a network of 5,000 independent contract drivers who make the deliveries. Customers set the delivery time and place with the contractor, and Dolly insures deliveries against damage and liability claims. Contractors can also provide moving services in addition to deliveries.
“Dolly is completely focused on optimizing the customer’s delivery experience,” says Mike Howell, Dolly CEO in a release. “We provide a transparent quote upfront that can be scheduled within a 30-minute window as soon as 90 minutes out. Whether the item is big or small, Dolly is the best option. We make same-day delivery easy.”
Dolly’s customers can choose a 30-minute delivery window from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., compared to the usual four-hour time window for same-day services, and get a guaranteed price from one of its “helpers” or contractors. The company pays its drivers an average of $30 per hour, above the standard rate for such work.
“In performing our diligence, we heard from customers time and again how satisfied they are with Dolly’s service, customer support, price and time guarantees,” said Liu in the release. “The company and its world-class team have grown rapidly but also thoughtfully, carefully planning expansions around market demographics.”