Every once in a while I want to get rid of a lot of old electronics, clothes, furniture, and other things lying around my house. But the process is slow because I’m concerned about things being relegated to the trash heap — is there some way for me to ensure that they’re disposed of in an eco-friendly manner?
Delete wants to provide that assurance and it’s launching today, fueled by $1.25 million in investment. A byproduct of Slow Ventures’ new startup incubator Slow Studio, the company’s mission is to be the simplest way for people to donate, recycle, and dispose of their unwanted items. Just text a photo of what you want to get rid of, and, within 25 minutes, or at a scheduled time, someone from the company will come and pick up your items.
Publicly available today, Delete services San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and South San Francisco, with plans to expand to other markets in the future.
Simplify your life
“The phone is a remote control of your life, but why is there not a delete button?” said company chief executive Nate Warner, a former Red Bull executive. “It’s more about convenience and getting rid of things easily.”
Delete will take away almost anything you’d like to get rid of, including old electronics, recyclable paper, hazardous household materials, garbage, clothes that are to be donated, piles of wood, and so on. Warner claims that the company will haul away 99 percent of common objects, but if you’re looking to get rid of something like a piano, car, or other extremely large items, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
There’s no app to download in order for you to use the service, just send a text to Delete to begin. The company will continue the conversation over SMS, and when a representative shows up to your house, they will vet your unwanted junk, provide a quote, and haul it away. Service starts at $20, but here’s the thing: You won’t pay until the job is done and you’re happy with it. And people appear to be happy with the results, as Warner claims a 30 percent monthly growth rate, although he declined to provide specific numbers.
After a pick-up occurs, Delete’s crew takes the goods back to its warehouse, where the sorting process begins, and distributes items to its contracted partners to be hauled away and disposed of in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. If there are things that cannot be salvaged or recycled, Delete will make sure that they’re eliminated in a manner that doesn’t cause any damage.
“People are overloaded,” Warner explained. “There’s a huge opportunity for a way to enable your phone to make your life more simple, to give you room, to give you space. You’re not getting rid of stuff, you’re making capacity for other stuff.”
To propel itself forward, Delete has raised $1.25 million from Slow Ventures and Upside Partnership.
Created by Slow Studio
As mentioned earlier, Delete is a creation of Slow Studio, an incubator that follows a model similar to Expa, Obvious, HVF, and Science. Dave Morin, founder and partner at Slow Ventures, shared that the program’s goal is to work with founders in communities to create companies around ideas generated from the ground up.
The venture firm’s philosophy centers around sustainable and impactful businesses, and the incubator seeks to instill patience in entrepreneurs who want to tackle big problems. “Delete is a good example of this,” Morin told VentureBeat. “Trash and junk is a big problem in people’s lives. We think this is a very real problem.”
Other areas of focus for Slow Studio include ways to solve problems around genomics — such as curing diseases. Morin has already begun looking into ways to cure depression, along with other ideas to reduce suffering worldwide. In addition, the firm is “very interested in building companies that have long-term time horizons, taking on real problems that technology can have an impact on.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Slow Ventures’ $145 million third funding round.