NEWS: Shopping Concierge App MyShoperoo Pivots to Help People at Home Get Basic Items Like Face Masks, Toilet Paper, Milk, etc.

All startups have to be nimble. Especially during an unprecedented pandemic. As we’ve seen throughout the past few months, those that have ingenuity and can pivot have the best chance of surviving.

A digital shopping concierge service, MyShoperoo, with HQ in Irvine, is one of the latest to change its business model, as the paradigm of business itself has changed – with the majority of employees working from home.

The company initially launched to serve businesses – offering a perk to their employees, who could get groceries delivered to their workplace, so they wouldn’t have to run errands themselves during their lunch hour or after work.

But with the lockdown forcing mostly everyone to work from home, MyShoperoo has expanded and is now offering a subscription-based, weekly shopping service for residents.

And, it’s focusing only on essentials right now, like toilet paper, face masks, milk, eggs, and bread, as well as fruit and veggie produce.

Co-founder and CEO Krishna Vanka told OCSN that MyShoperoo Essentials can guarantee that these items will be delivered because it’s a weekly service and that gives the mom-and-pop grocery stores and neighborhood restaurants they’re working with time to ensure they have them in stock.

For now, the service is only available in OC. It may expand in the future.

At the same time, MyShoperoo is trying to keep its B2B vertical alive, hoping now to deliver to employees of the companies it served before, and more, where they live.

Companies could either pay for the weekly memberships for their employees or offer to share the cost with their employees. Or they could just promote the service so their employees are aware of it.

Catalyst

Like many startups, MyShoperoo had raised funds last year, before the pandemic started. Last August, it closed the second phase of its pre-seed round, bringing the total raised to $300,000.

Like most companies everywhere, MyShoperoo was affected early on by the pandemic. It had to let go of some of its employees. The founders took some time off and focused on their families.

In April, the founders reached out to the previous MyShoperoo users to see what they needed while in quarantine.

And, what they needed was the basics.

Differentiating from the Competition

Currently, MyShoperoo is working with a handful of stores, who declined to identify themselves at this time.

Competition includes similar delivery services like Instacart for groceries and Postmates, GrubHub and DoorDash for food. As well as other errand services like Task Rabbit and Irvine-based Wing.

Vanka said MyShoperoo is different because it doesn’t mark up any of the prices, there are no order minimums, it’s on a regular weekly schedule and it guarantees the delivery of items, like toilet paper and face masks.

He also noted MyShoperoo’s use of reduced touch points. That means that retailers and restaurants assemble and pack up the items before they even go on the store shelves. One person then loads the items directly into a MyShoperoo driver’s car.

Helping Small Businesses

Vanka said he’s glad he can help the handful of small and family-owned businesses he’s working with now expand their customer base, especially as many of them have been forced to close or limit their offerings considerably.

He hopes to continue adding restaurants and small grocers to the app.

How It Works

MyShoperoo’s original app used AI and logistics, as does this new version.

Users can download the MyShoperoo Essentials app here and register. For a limited time, the cost of the first month of the subscription is $19.99. The subscription can be canceled at any time.

On Fridays, they can see the available items for the following week. They have to submit their orders by 1 p.m. on Mondays.

They receive their items later in the week.

All drivers are supplied with antibacterial hand gel and face masks.

MyShoperoo currently has about six employees, plus its own drivers.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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