The same group of Wichita entrepreneurs who started Point-Bee, a local competitor to the Uber driving service, are now starting a similar company to haul items instead of people.
“It’s simple in its concept,” Mike Carney says of Haulya (think, “We’re going to haul ya.”). “We’re providing a simple service, basically.”
He and business partner Tim Holmes went to Baseline Creative for help in developing an app for the service.
The idea is potential customers can use the app to send photos of things they need hauled. Then contracted Haulya drivers – including commercial moving companies – who have their own trucks can pick up what orders they choose.
“If they don’t pick up a job, we’re going to pick up a job and do it,” Carney says of himself and Holmes and their own Haulya truck.
When Baseline owner Nathan Williams heard the idea, he asked why Carney and Holmes weren’t doing the same thing to transport people, too. That’s how the idea for Point-Bee came about.
“He goes, ‘I’m going to do it whether you do it or not,’ ” Carney says of Williams.
Point-Bee now is on the back burner, though, due to insurance costs. Carney says it’s three times more expensive to insure transporting people than it is to insure moving objects, so they’re focusing on Haulya for now.
“And that’s what the guys really wanted in the first place,” Williams says.
“My father even said one day, “Why are you trying to do two of these at one time?’” Carney says of his dad, who is Pizza Hut co-founder Dan Carney.
Mike Carney and Holmes intend for Haulya to quickly become a regional hauling company.
“Our plan is in 60 days we’re going to take on another city,” Carney says. “Once we make it work in Wichita and get the bugs out.”
He says Oklahoma and Dallas have similar laws relating to hauling operations as Kansas, so those markets are prime for expansion.
Though Haulya is only starting this week, since the website went live, the company has already received requests from Atlanta, Ga., and Manhattan, Kan. Demand could dictate where else it opens.
Haulya will particularly target people needing help moving things at apartment complexes, estate sales and storage units. It can help customers move items within their homes, across town or to another city.
Holmes says traditional moving companies often turn away potential customers who want only single items moved because it’s cost prohibitive.
Haulya will charge a minimum of $1 per hauler per minute with a $45 minimum.
The company will have an 80-20 split with drivers, who will receive 80 percent of the fare.
Carney says it can be extra income for drivers.
“They can pick and choose when they want to work.”
Customers can use the app to schedule service or order it through a phone number.
“It’s very much a concierge service,” Williams says. “You can still call a human.”
Carney says that and the back-up truck are “what’s going to set us apart.”
Holmes is a past sheriff of Russell County and was a special agent with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for three years. He’s now an owner in Charlie’s PizzaTaco on Tyler just south of Central.
Carney has been involved in a number of different start-ups in the last couple of decades. For instance, he co-owned CD Tradepost.
He says he’s had “ a lot of failures, couple successes.”
“You have no idea till you finally commit,” he says. “A lot are going to fail.”
Dan Carney hasn’t said too much about his son’s prospects with Haulya.
“He’s very reserved,” Mike Carney says.
However, he says his father did have a comment after seeing the Haulya truck.
“That is the gaudiest-looking truck I’ve ever seen.”
Regardless of looks, Mike Carney likes his chances for success with Haulya.
“We’re providing a marketplace for small hauls,” he says.
Still, he says he just smiles and laughs a bit at the beginning of new ventures when everyone is excited at a company’s prospects.
“But you’ve got to execute,” Carney says. “You have to execute, and still there’s no guarantees.”