The Fund Founder Spotlight Interview: Alfie Pearce-Higgins of Rodeo
Alfie Pearce-Higgins is co-founder of Rodeo, an app that enables gig workers to take control of their business and finances.
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On demand delivery has become a part of our everyday lives. We order meals, groceries, and pretty much anything you can think of via various online apps. The orders arrive at our doorstep quickly thanks to the millions of people around the world making a living as delivery drivers, the vast majority of whom are gig workers. This sector offers flexibility and independence, but there are also challenges, such as unpredictable earnings, unclear information, and unfair practices. Rodeo is building the tools to help gig workers boost their earnings and improve their experience. It’s an app that’s free to delivery drivers in the UK and helps them compare orders, times, areas, and platforms so they can ride smarter and earn more!
Co-founders Alfie Pearce-Higgins and William Day have spent time working in all aspects of the on demand delivery industry and have really seen the industry grow over the last six years, especially during the pandemic. They believe the delivery market will continue to expand, but that if it’s going to be sustainable then it needs to work for everyone.
What’s the end goal?
Our end vision is that gig workers can get transparent access to all of the work opportunities in the market from all the different platforms in one place and be supported by the tools and financial services needed to operate securely and compliantly. Drivers deserve clear information so that they can make informed decisions. But we also believe that a more transparent, efficient model can benefit merchants and platforms as well, many of whom struggle with driver acquisition, poor unit economics and regulatory risks.
Why is Rodeo going to win?
A great deal of time and money has been spent on solving problems for the customer and merchant, but very little that has been spent on solving problems for the drivers. How much money am I earning each hour? Is this good? Where could I earn more? What orders should I prioritise? Which insurance/vehicle/account is best for me? These are basic question, but ones that are not always straightforward for gig workers to answer. We're confident that we understand drivers better than anyone else and recognise that building a product around drivers’ needs is the key to making this sector sustainable and viable.
What delivery platforms does Rodeo support?
At the moment our app supports connections with Uber, Deliveroo, Just Eat, and Stuart, which are the four big players in the UK. And we have plans to add more gig-work platforms soon. Although it’s early days, we’ve already helped more than 4,000 drivers track more than 5 million orders.
How does Rodeo inspire “customer love”?
Our app is designed with the driver as the end user. We make it quick and easy to set up and provide all their stats in one place. Drivers are so unaccustomed to having products built for them, from their perspective, that we’ve actually had some call up and ask to donate. Rodeo also provides a space for community - there are drivers who spend time helping each other out by sharing information such as areas to avoid for safety and live updates. The level of appreciation from the drivers for what we’re doing is quite humbling.
Do you have any advice for other founders?
It would be presumptive to offer any advice at this early stage but I will say that the right dynamic in a founding team is vital; I feel very fortunate here. Will is an old friend and we are able to recognise each other strengths and weaknesses, provide honest, direct advice and support and (occasionally) disagree constructively. Ali is a dream CTO – technically brilliant but also patient, empathetic and a great communicator. And we’ve all worked together before so we know what we are getting ourselves in for!
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