What started as a couple of bad moving experiences developed into a mobile app to simplify the relocation process, said MovinHouz co-founders.
Dominic Klobe and Chris Perrin, co-founders of Olathe-based MovinHouz, a tech startup incubated at Digital Sandbox KC, are building an app that connects moving companies to customers in need of their services, Klobe said.
“It basically got to the point that we just said, ‘There’s gotta be a better way to do this,’” Klobe said. “And when we did the research, there really wasn’t.”
It’s time-consuming to hire a moving company, he added, citing a moving businesses that lack transparency and are slow to adopt new technology.
“We’re transforming an industry which is currently lacking in innovation,” Klobe said. “If I can just click on an app and take a few photos and download it, it’s pretty simple.”
Once users answer a few questions on the app, they take pictures of their furniture, boxes and other items, which are automatically downloaded and added to the user’s inventory. Moving companies that have completed a 10-point vetting process can then provide users with a price quote for moving the items. The app compares ratings and prices, and users can view those quotes from the moving companies, pick one and then book their move.
Contrary to some assumptions, MovinHouz’s founders don’t characterize it as “the Uber for moving companies,” Klobe said.
“We’re not going to have, ‘Hey, I have a buddy of mine, he’s going to go buy a truck and start moving for you,’” he said. “We want to make sure these are professional moving companies because it’s your personal items that they’re moving.”
The app’s MovinPic technology is in beta testing mode, Klobe said. He and Perrin hope to complete beta testing by the end of the summer and fully launch it in Kansas City, as well as other major cities, especially where users are unlikely to own a personal vehicle, he added.
“I’m sure we’re going to run into some hiccups on the way, but that’s what beta testing is for,” Klobe said. “We’re really in that phase right now where we’ve got to get it fully up and running the right way — the perfect way — and then we can expand this and launch it more across the U.S.”
In the meantime, Klobe and Perrin are seeking investors to scale the company, Klobe said.
“We want to prove the concept to make sure it works fully in that it’s everything that we say it’s going to be,” Klobe said. “Then we’re going to go after investors, and then we’ll look at putting more money to it to add gas to the fire.”
A recent participant in Digital Sandbox KC’s proof-of-concept program, MovinHouz received a $25,000 grant from the accelerator to fund development of the startup’s MovinPic technology, Klobe said.
Klobe presented earlier this month at 1 Million Cups at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Check out the video below.