Philip, the future founder of Movemates, had the idea of building a bed for his former student apartment in Hamburg out of Euro pallets. “That was incredibly popular in 2017. So I researched online where to buy Euro pallets.” Philip found five pallets out on the edge of Hamburg but then had to transport them to his apartment in the inner city. But that was easier said than done. “A car would have been too small, so I had to find a van somewhere”, remembers Philip. It was a major challenge to find a service that offered to transport bulky goods such as the Euro pallets – quickly and without complications. “In the end I had managed to organise a driver but I still had to carry every single pallet up into the apartment myself. That was how Movemates was born”, he says. He sat down at the table in his apartment with a friend and they began to brainstorm. There had to be a quicker and easier solution for situations like these.
Many people eventually end up in situations similar to that of Philip and his Euro pallets, especially in major cities like Hamburg – whether moving house, buying furniture, at the hardware store or the flea market. The brainstorming session in the apartment kitchen gave rise to the business idea behind Movemates. “Essentially, it functions like Uber except that the driver packs the heavy objects, transports them and also carries them to your home.” How exactly does that work? The start-up links two levels: On the official website, private individuals can use the transport service by providing information with only a few clicks. The other level is an app that independent drivers can download, use to register and offer their service.
The transport market is so unclear and un-transparent, so disorganised and prone to errors. There is immense potential for improving and changing things in this sector. We want to make people’s lives easier.
The procedure has been successively adapted to match the customers’ requests. “Over the course of the last two years since founding the company, we have learnt a lot thanks to the feedback from many customers. For example, we have implemented the ability to track the drivers in real time via a GPS system and have made the payment options more transparent.” Additionally, the transporters are chosen according to the exact situation and size or the weight of the freight. A computer algorithm automatically searches for the best van with precisely the right size and options from the large selection available. Philip is personally convinced by one vehicle above all: “Mainly Mercedes-Benz Sprinter work for our service. The vehicle is simply the classic and the pioneer in the sector.” The spacious loading area and the large payload of the vans are additional factors making the Sprinter the ideal choice for almost every situation. Movemates is currently active exclusively in Hamburg. But they are looking to expand their horizons. “The app is doing really well because there are no other services like ours in the region. The plan is to expand beyond Hamburg”, says Philip, explaining his wish for the future.
The steps are intentionally kept simple on the website so that customers can book as quickly as possible.