Talking tech since 2003

When I met Cee Carter, founder & CEO at Pawndr through the Florida Entrepreneurs club on Clubhouse, her story really captivated me. It's a classic tale: overcoming hardship by building a business (something I think a lot of Floridians understand very well) and she's well on her way to building something special with Pawndr. Her company, Pawndr, is a transport service for animals, so for example, maybe you need to transport the dog or cat you just adopted from the state where it's located to you, or maybe, you need to move your micro pig or chinchilla to your new home, Pawndr can help you out.

Cee, a native Miamian has always been an entrepreneur, telling me she knew she wanted to get into the tech space and build a business all her life. In 2017 though, she was struggling financially, and was doing different delivery driver gigs (e.g. Lyft, Uber, Instacart) to make ends meet. "You need to work all day to make something, but it often isn't enough and it leads to burn out," Cee told me. But then, as if it were divine intervention, one day an idea came to her, Google "pet transport," she did. The first company that came up was Citizen Shipper, she signed up as a driver and her first two bids were for $1,800/piece to ship a pet to California. The rest is, as they say, history.

Cee started to develop individual relationships with breeders she was transporting pets for, and through those relationships she was able to generate $100k from referrals alone. She still had no website, no app, no marketing, no nothing... except her sheer determination. Because of her deep relationships, she's been able to provide other people jobs that pay well, plus you get to travel and hang out with an animal. Cee told me she's already driven to 48 states.

Growing Pawndr

From Cee's humble start in 2017, with her trusty Honda, she transported her very first dog in the backseat and had a puppy up in the front seat. Cee told me she would stop every 4-6 hours for a walk as well as make sure the dogs were fed twice per day. Cee now has clients all over the country, including in NY, GA, FL, TX, CA, and IL.

Now with the launch of Pawndr (beta) to the public Cee has some big plans for the company and her drivers. For example, Cee understands that she needs to treat her drivers well – you know, like actual humans. She's already looking into working on partnering with companies like TalkSpace to provide drivers with mental health services and other perks.

In addition to the perks, Cee is offering drivers a much more competitive deal when it comes to the fees her company takes. Other companies, such as Citizen Shipper charge a $30/month membership and takes 15-20% each job, meanwhile, Pawndr only charges $20/month for access to the listings and drivers keep 100% of the profits per job (including tips!). The company does however, charge 22% on top of whatever the ultimate cost per ride is to the client. Rides start at $0.75c per mile (cross country) with discounts available on shared rides. Private rides are always full price. If you're just going north or south, rates start at $1.05 per mile.

"The faster you can get a driver to a location to get the animal, the better," Cee told me. She's currently using a white label software platform where customer's can go, fill out form, submit it, and then have it placed on the order board, where her drivers (with the right credentials) can find it and take it on. Most drivers will be crossing state lines with the precious cargo, so if you love driving and animals, this job is for you! It's also important to note that drivers need to be insured with pet taxi insurance which covers if you're in an accident, or the pet gets lost, or you're bitten, etc. Obviously, most trips go on without a hiccup but you know, just in case, the insurance will make everyone's lives much easier.

Pawndr is launching in early beta starting today! If you're interested in learning more or becoming an early customer, sign up on the site and the team will reach out with more information. A complete booking form will be released in a few weeks.

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