My Startup: Pinga

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Pinga is a peer-to-peer marketplace for small tasks and local deliveries.

Described by the London Evening Standard as the 'Uber for everyday tasks', Pinga lets people pay for favours - whether it's a single item from the shop or a lift. Their mission is to change how communities interact, making helping those around you more commonplace.

Pinga Partners, who pick up each request and fulfil it in as quickly as 15 minutes, are paid at least £5 for every delivery they make. It incentivises small, convenient favours - it's as easy picking up an extra item from the supermarket and dropping it round to someone's house.

Pinga now operates in Nottingham, Hackney and Islington, with future plans to spread across London and become an integral part of the communities it is used in.

Founders: Jack Rubin & Michael Goulden

Founded: 2016


We spoke to Michael to learn what goes on behind the scenes.

Pinga's founders
Pinga founders Jack (left) and Michael (right)

Why did you start Pinga?

It all started from a personal problem. I was on a train and needed a glass of wine, but the buffet car was closed. My wife and I came up with the idea of asking someone in the Whistlestop at Reading station to drop us a bottle off when the train pulled in.

We tried calling the shop but they refused to let us speak to a customer. At that moment, the idea for Pinga was born - to instantly connect someone who needs something with someone nearby who can help.

Tell us more about the tech behind the product?

We built on Swift, and we use a lot of cool third-party software. When you press ‘send’, your request goes to all Pinga Partners in a two-kilometre radius - you’re then connected to the first Pinga Partner that picks up. Typically you’re connected in less than 90 seconds.

We’ve got popular chat feature in the app, and use Twilio for privacy-protected in-app calling. We then use Algolia for smart searching of a retailer partner inventory (you can search over 2,000 supermarket items, for example). We’ve integrated Stripe to handle the payments, and we pay out the same day using Transferwise.

Where are you at right now?

Since our December launch in London, I’m pleased to say we’ve grown weekly paid transactions by 34% a week, and are aiming for 1,000 tasks a month by this summer. We’re now preparing for a large fundraiser to create a smarter tasking system, and expand right across London.

You’re usually connected to a Pinga Partner in under 90 seconds.

What are your aims for the next year?

Our aim is to hit 10,000 paid tasks a month in the year ahead. Given the demand we’ve seen for instant and same-day delivery, coupled with our community-driven super friendly service, we think we’ve got a great chance of achieving this - but that's not to say it'll be easy!

What's been the hardest thing about getting Pinga off the ground?

People just couldn’t believe the crowdsourced instant delivery model could work and be safe and reliable... but it is! It really gives you faith in local communities when you see complete strangers helping others out and doing it in such a friendly way.

It took some brave investors to back our idea (building the app hasn’t been cheap) but we think they’re pleased with what we’ve achieved and where we’re heading.


Why should more people be using Pinga?

Simply put, there's no other way to get anything from you need from nearby shops so quickly! And if you do find a one-hour slot on a service like Amazon Prime Now, you’ll find a delivery fee of £7.99, compared to just £3.95 on Pinga. 

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?

Instant delivery is just £3.95, with no minimum order. That’s a Pinga Partner heading to a shop on your behalf, buying the items and dropping them off, all in less than an hour. For the times when it’s just not possible to get to the shop yourself... we’re there for you!

Get in touch if you believe you have a startup everyone should hear about

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If you or your client have started an innovative company recently, get in touch with Charlie Spargo