Exec, which is kind of like Uber-meets-Taskrabbit, is overhauling its product today. It’s adding iMessages-like functionality to the app that makes it easier for customers to sync up with the people running their errands.
The app, which comes from a veteran team of Y Combinator alums including Justin.tv co-founder Justin Kan, can call up people (called “Execs”) to run basic errands instantaneously. There’s no bidding process and it costs $25 an hour for everything from delivering flowers to housecleaning and other odd jobs. The app has looked pretty basic for a while in the “Get Shit Done” spirit of the company. But the team found it needed more.
“Basically, one thing we realized after doing a couple thousand jobs is that people want more communication with their execs,” Kan said. “People want to know what’s going on when the jobs are happening. The basic idea is to have execs send updates on their jobs very quickly.” As for the service itself, Kan says there are about 100 “Execs” running errands in San Francisco. He’s focused on improving specific use cases like cleaning.
We also have more details on the $3.3 million in funding that we reported last week. It’s a very unusual round. No large venture firms here! Kan’s calling it a “YC family-style” round.
Sam Altman, who was CEO of Loopt, which was recently acquired by Green Dot, led the round. “He’s been doing bigger investments lately,” Kan said.
Other investors include Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison, Parse co-founder Tikhon Bernstam, Gmail creator and Y Combinator partner Paul Buchheit, Google board member Ram Shriram, Matt Ocko, Delicious creator Josh Schachter and others. In total, there were about 25 people in the round.
Why did he do it this way? “I don’t typically need that much to test a business concept and we had a lot of people who were interested,” he said.
We’ve seen a couple rounds like this lately that involve a giant horde of individual investors. One of them was for SocialCam (which Kan also co-founded) and then another was for Pair.