Roadie app is turning average drivers into makeshift delivery people who get paid for the task

The next time you drive to work, you could be making money before even clocking in — just by dropping something off that was already on your way.

That’s the premise behind Roadie, a new app that’s crowdsourcing package delivery. The Atlanta-based company launched in 2015, currently has more than 90,000 drivers on the platform, and is backed by investors like Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s TomorrowVentures, the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund and even rapper Ludacris, to name a few.

“It’s essentially people already on the road heading in the right direction,” Roadie founder Marc Gorlin told CNBC’s “On the Money” in an interview. “There’s 250 million cars on the road that’s almost a natural resource of delivery, if you just give people a chance to use it.”

Roadie helps make those connections. To become a driver, you need a vehicle, a valid driver’s license, and will be subject to a motor vehicle and background check. Roadie drivers can expect to earn anywhere from $8 up to $650 per job, depending on the size of the package and the delivery distance.

As for senders, Roadie’s founder says using the app is “as easy as ordering a pizza.”

Senders choose a size, for example “fits in a shoebox” or “fits in the front seat,” enter where it needs to go and Roadie determines the price. The sender can review it and then post what Roadie calls a “gig.”

Roadie makes its money by taking an approximate 20 percent cut of each gig.

And to think Roadie came about because of a box of broken tile.

Gorlin was doing a renovation project on his condo, and found out the tile he ordered for his bathroom arrived broken. But a new shipment wouldn’t arrive until the following week.

The tile he needed was less than two hours away by car, and he started to think that surely someone was in a car right now heading in his direction, and wouldn’t mind taking the box of tile.

The company is not only working with individual senders, but with companies like Home Depot, Macy’s, and Delta, just to name a few.

“If on the off chance that your bag might not have made its flight somewhere, we’re able to get it to you superfast,” Gorlin told CNBC.

“Somebody at the airport – a pilot, a passenger, a flight attendant, you when you land – might be taking it to a neighbors’ a couple streets down,” he said. “So you get paid for going home leaving the airport, pay for your parking there.”

While there are some restrictions on what you can and can’t send (nothing illegal of course) you can ship almost anything — even a seven foot statue of Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks. Gorlin admitted that was one of the strangest deliveries he’s seen go through their system.

Still, the founder added that his technology is bringing people together in a way that’s different than other delivery services.

“What’s cool is usually you meet somebody and there’s some sort of interesting collision of folks that are helping one another out … which is kind of nice with technology that brings people together,” Gorlin said.

“On the Money” airs on CNBC Saturdays at 5:30 a.m. ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.
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