Postmates is coming to Kansas City.
Well, technically the San Francisco-based company is already here.
The Kansas City area is one of 10 metros the on-demand delivery service is officially launching in on Sept. 17, but for those who have heard of Postmates and downloaded the app, the service is live.
Similar to Uber, Postmates is organized through a smartphone app where users can tell the driver what they want to order — from a restaurant, something from a store, groceries, etc. — and the driver then drops off the items to the user. Users of the on-demand service pay for the goods ordered, taxes and a minimum $5 delivery charge that increases depending on the distance traveled.
The drivers, or Postmates, pick up and deliver within a specific zone that the company has outlined, which includes downtown Kansas City, Westport, Midtown, the Country Club Plaza, Crossroads and a portion of the southern metro area on the Missouri and Kansas sides. Postmates is now hiring in the Kansas City area, and is hoping to add around 100 drivers in coming weeks.
“We’ll pick up shoes, a charger from the Apple store, groceries or even Advil for your hangover,” Postmates communication director Heather Luntz said.
The company is based in San Francisco and has 250 full-time employees nationwide, including community managers at each locale in which Postmates operates. The fleet service is operating out of Village Square Coworking Studio in Kansas City, Kansas.
In addition to the 250 full-time employees, the company employs about 15,000 drivers nationwide. Luntz couldn’t disclose the exact number of Kansas City drivers hired so far, but said the company doesn’t launch until there are about 100 to meet the 24-hour delivery demand.
Postmates now operates in 30 cities, including major metro areas such as New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. Kansas City is part of a 10-city expansion effort that includes St. Louis, Baltimore, Columbus, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh Raleigh and others.
“We’ve gotten this launch process down and there are so many places we want to expand to that we’re able to do it in one fell swoop,” Luntz said, adding that the company is picking cities based on where they’re seeing demand. “These are places where people are asking for us, where they’re downloading the app. A lot of them have bustling restaurant scenes.”
The only struggle so far with some cities, including Kansas City, is Postmates’ ability to deliver alcohol. Luntz said they hope to be able to extend the alcohol delivery service in the future in Kansas City.
Postmates wrapped up $80 million in Series D funding in June, bringing the total funding to date at $130 million, Luntz said. The company told TechCrunch after the latest funding round that the estimated value of Postmates is $500 million.
The service is live now and all delivery charges are waived through the end of September. Users can enter the code “KCVIP” into the app to receive a $50 credit toward delivery fees for all purchases made on or before Oct. 15.
Postmates will have a free launch delivery promotion — typically some type of food — following the official launch on Sept. 17, but details on the promotion are forthcoming.