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|Published Friday, January 13, 2017|
Need a taxi? Swipe the Uber app. Need a last minute babysitter? Want your dirty laundry cleaned and delivered? There are apps for that too.
The question is why go different places for your on-demand needs. Why not have an app where you can search for almost any service, find local providers and shop around for the best value?
Enter qaZING, a Peterborough startup offering a local marketplace to connect consumers and service providers.
Customers can set up an account for free and fill out the type of job they need done, when they need it to be done, how much they want to pay and then receive quotes. Instead of searching through listings of services providers, service providers submit bids. Customers then view profiles of service providers with pictures to help with identification and they can check out other users’ ratings of the service provider.
qaZING is geared toward people who need a job done within 24 hours, and its service providers range from professionals to people who want extra money. qaZING, which began market testing in Keene last February, aims to offer access to an array of services, including tech support, private tutoring, cleaning, eldercare, entertainment, errands, lawn and garden services, small engine repair, organizing and pet walking. Vendors set their own prices and customers to shop for the deal they want. The app takes 20 percent of the transaction.
The company has 10 employees, including a marketing team, app developers and graphic design, most of whom are working for equity in the company. “It’s been a challenge to get out there … even to get people to know how to pronounce it,” Garland says. (Kazing, by the way.)
Garland did not have specific revenue figures to share, noting the app is in beta phase and posting small numbers. He says qaZING has a few hundred customers and vendors. Most of the jobs have been completed. “When we can’t find someone to do a job, I’ve done them,” Garland says, recalling how he stepped on a nail while hauling brush. “More people are looking for work on qaZING.”
When the app officially launches in early 2017, it will be statewide, Garland says. The plan is to eventually scale the app and service area nationally and maybe even globally. Garland admits it will be a slow build toward profitability, but he is hopeful the company will achieve it.
qaZING was founded by Peoples Venture Capital, led by CEO Akhil D. Garland, Jason Garland’s father. Peoples Venture Capital, which is the majority owner in qaZING, is helping with a crowdfunding effort on StartEngine.com. As of mid-October, it had 20 investors and raised $23,052 toward its stated funding goal of $22,000 to $1 million.
Garland, a Peterborough native, graduated from the University of Vermont in September 2015 with a degree in Chinese and Asian studies. “It’s cool to come back to my hometown and start a business here,” Garland says. “It’s an exciting marketplace. It’s still a hyper local model. But it’s the model of the future.”
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