Aryaman Taore, an 18-year-old engineering student at the University of Auckland, collected $250,000 in four days through crowdfunding earlier last month. His brainchild ‘LazyAz’, an app to get home delivery of food and other selected products, hit the market and is running successfully. With the support and encouragement of his parents, he is always ready to explore new ventures. Indian Weekender spoke to the business wizard on his idea and vision behind the app.
IWK: How did you conceptualise the LazyAz app?
Arya: I was in school one day and was craving for a McDonald's burger to be delivered to me, as I did not have a driver’s license then, and that is when the idea clicked. I thought of the idea of people such as me could go to an app and get food and other ready-to-eat stuff delivered within an hour. I knew about pizza deliveries but it’s not always pizza that you want to eat, so LazyAz.
IWK: How did you get the initial funding and design of the app?
Arya: I took three months to research about similar apps in the US and the UK. I got a brief idea and my father’s friend came forward to help me. He engineered the app— interface and backend. Since the app was to be designed only for iOS initially, we could get the app ready in $2000. Now the app is also available on Android platform.
IWK: What are your qualifications?
Arya: I am a first year engineering student at the University of Auckland, and I want to focus on mechatronics and automobiles eventually. I was offered to study at a premium university in the States, but I declined, as I felt I could do a start-up and have better prospects here.
IWK: How does the app work?
Arya: It is simple to use. The user chooses the products from the dropdown, which shows pharmacy, florist, electronics, fashion, grocery etc. besides food and drinks. The user selects the products he wants and places an order. The app gives them the option of online payment or cash on delivery.
IWK: How do the deliveries reach the customer?
Arya: It is like Uber. Our outsourced vendor picks up the order and delivers it to the customer within an hour.
IWK: What is the reach of the app?
Arya: We have around 2,000 downloads so far, of which we have around 300 loyal customers who order at least once in two or three days. On an average, we cater to 250–300 orders every week, which is growing. Our services are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
IWK: Tell us about the crowdfunding?
Arya: Currently, our services are available only in Mt Eden, Parnell, and Auckland CBD since we wanted to launch in a densely populated area to get maximum attention. After our successful three-month run, I realised it is time to expand and plan for at least the next two years. We used AlphaCrowd platform for crowdfunding with a target of $200,000. Todd Grumley came on board as our major investor. To our surprise, we surpassed our target in four days, which is the fastest crowdfunding campaign in the history of Oceania region. We collected $250,000 and had to reject an additional funding of $300,000.
IWK: What are the prospects for the app?
Arya: In the next 18 months, I look forward to expanding the network pan-Auckland, penetrate in more avenues of products lines, and of course, in the next few years go national.