Spotlight on tech company Dolly.
Who’s in charge: Seattle native Michael Howell, co-founder and CEO. He also co-founded Wetpaint in 2005.
What it does: Connects people who need something moved with someone who has a truck. Think Uber, but for hauling a couch just purchased on Craigslist.
Cost: Averages $50 to $75 per load, depending on the size, how far it has to go and how much work the driver — called a “helper” — has to do. A love seat moved from the sidewalk outside an apartment to the sidewalk outside another one not too far away could cost as little as $30. But if the helper needs to move it in or out of a home, it costs more for the “muscle.”
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The biggest move: The company moved to Seattle from Chicago in September, before it officially started operating.
The team: Seven employees, six in the South Lake Union office and one still in Chicago. Howell hopes to be up to 20 employees by the end of the year.
Customers: Since it began operations in Chicago in October, Dolly has had hundreds of customers and says it’s growing by 80 percent each month. Chicago currently has a fleet of 50 trucks. Seattle is still in testing mode. As of two weeks ago, some helpers are available, but there is not yet a full fleet. Dolly is refining and expanding in Chicago first; Seattle will follow.
Funding: Dolly scored $1.7 million in seed funding in October. Investors included Amazon.com executive Jeff Wilke, Blue Nile co-founder and former Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz.
Future: The company hopes to expand nationally by 2016 and is working to partner with retailers, managers of apartment buildings, storage units and charities.
— Coral Garnick