Austin-based Favor enters delivery battle in Chicago

by Sam Dewey
February 29, 2016

There’s already a host of popular delivery tech companies from which tech-savvy Chicagoans can order their favorite foods and everyday essentials, including Chicago native

(a national behemoth in the food-delivery space) and regular top-billed players like Postmates, DoorDash, and Instacart (to name a short-listed few).

Today, Chicagoans have another delivery option in

, an Austin-based delivery startup that’s just announced its launch in the city.

"2016 is going to be a busy year for Favor with major brand partnerships and city launches across the country,” said Jag Bath, Chief Executive Officer and President of Favor in a statement. “We have an aggressive roadmap ahead and are excited to continue our US expansion with today’s launch in Chicago.”

With Favor’s iPhone and Android app, users will be able to peruse a catalog of popular restaurants and stores, including Gino’s East, Velvet Taco, and Protein Bar. Delivery is initially available for consumers in Gold Coast, Old Town, River North, Lincoln Park, and the Loop, with additional neighborhoods planned in the coming months. The company said deliveries average about 35 minutes and include a fee of $6.

The service will be available 10 a.m to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

“Before launching in a new city, we like to take a boots on the ground approach to really learn the neighborhoods we’ll be delivering in,” said Zac Maurais, co-founder of Favor in the statement. “We always choose some of the most popular local restaurants to feature in the app based on our customer's interests, and we’re excited to start delivering some of the best Chicago has to offer.”

Favor said it differentiates itself by offering delivery from places they need not partner with. Although the company has some merchant partners, Favor connects users with a tuxedo-t-shirt-clad “Runner” who allows delivery from a whole gamut locations for a variety pick-up chores, from food to dry cleaning or groceries. The company said that — in an age of algorithms and automation — the human element of delivery remains the core of their business, with technology “built to support and empower the Runners, not the other way around.”

Nationally, the company already has about 9,000 Runners on its platform and has completed more than 1.5 million deliveries. Those numbers are expected to spike now that Chicago has been added to its city roster (a list that includes about 20 other major metropolitan areas across North America).

In addition to those 9,000 Runners, the company also has a fleet of 100 full-time employees. In March of 2015, they raised $13 million in VC funding, bringing their total funding status to just under $17 million.

Photo via Favor. 

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