Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola were mere college students at Drexel University in Philadelphia when they noticed the flaws in everyday c-stores.
“[The stores] left a lot to be desired,” Ilishayev says. “On-demand was essentially on-availability. They weren’t built for millennials. We thought, ‘There has to be a better way to do this.’ ”
After late nights drafting a “better” approach, the lightbulb finally flicked, and as college sophomores, Ilishayev and Gola were delivering late-night snacks around campus as GoPuff.
Today, GoPuff, an e-delivery company, has expanded to 35 markets in the United States, allowing consumers to purchase anything found in c-stores and beyond, from potato chips and candy bars to printer-ink cartridges and condoms. Orders of any size are delivered within 30 minutes, with a fee of $1.95 for all orders less than $49. Ilishayev says the company has come a long way, originally selling everything from iPhones to furniture purchased on Craigslist in the company’s early days.
Each market has a GoPuff warehouse from where delivery drivers stock up. Scalability has been a challenge for the delivery startup; nonetheless, the company has consistently figured out how to run multiple warehouses at once, and it expects to open three to five every month moving forward. GoPuff recently opened in Virginia in five markets and is looking to do the same in North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by the end of 2018.
“We’re a purpose-driven company,” Ilishayev says. “We deliver the moments that matter most, whether that’s ice cream at 3 a.m., a pack of beer for a party, or medicine for someone who’s sick.”
Imagine a c-store without walls and every item available for delivery.
Photo courtesy of GoPuff