It was during an impromptu move that a light bulb went off in New Rochelle resident Rudy Callegari’s head. “I had a couch that I wanted to move and I didn’t want to pay for a four-hour window of time to move [one piece of furniture],” he shares. “I called a bunch of moving companies—which took forever and some of which were just not reputable—when I realized that there must be a better way of doing this: deliveries and on-demand moves of all sizes tracked through an app.”
This idea has evolved into a fast-growing company named Zootly, which recently completed a second round of financing and already commands the largest fleet of moving vehicles in the greater NY metro area. Any business or individual that needs to hire a mover can download the Zootly app and be connected to a wealth of qualified, professional movers any time of day or night. The app also allows Zootly’s stable of movers to utilize vehicles that may not be in use, and allows customers to track their belongings during the move.
“Zootly is a mobile app that helps consumers and businesses safely, reliably, and conveniently move stuff on demand or preplanned,” Callegari explains. “The app does the ‘heavy lifting,’ ensuring that the customer gets a licensed and vetted moving partner at whatever time that customer wants to move.”
Callegari, whose first startup was a successful production company, feels that the market is in need of an app such as Zootly—and that investors know it. He must be on to something, as after launching in October of 2015, Zootly has already received approximately $10 million in funding. “The financial community has been very receptive to the Zootly story,” Callegari says. “The moving industry is very traditional and is, therefore, ripe for innovation and an infusion of technology that hasn’t existed before us.”
Movers are similarly excited about the app, which allows them to profit from underutilized vehicles. “The moving industry loved what we were building because it solved their issues around underutilized trucks, technology for their businesses, and brought them new jobs without having to spend on sales and marketing themselves,” Callegari explains. “Since we’ll only do business with the highest quality movers, we all like that Zootly helps weed out bad actors in the system.”
Zootly’s new influx of financing will allow the company to hone its technology while expanding beyond the New York City metro area. Callegari is particularly excited about the app’s potential in Westchester. “Westchester is challenging given the huge variety of moves,” he notes. “We go from a large residential move, to a small walk-up apartment, to a large commercial move—all in one day. I love the variety that Westchester provides to Zootly, and we’re up for the challenge.”
Ahead, Callegari hopes Zootly will stick to the basics while expanding into other regional markets. “Continued focus on the highest levels of customer service is the first and most critical goal for us always,” he says. “Beyond that, we are looking to expand across the US and Canada by the end of this year. We’re thrilled by the reaction we’ve seen from our customers in New York and really excited to deliver Zootly to more markets.”