Austin might not be the headquarters of app juggernauts like Uber or Instacart, but there are plenty of hometown-developed apps targeted toward consumers.
These apps aiming to solve problems like finding the right babysitter or getting a meal delivered for lunch.
Here are five apps developed in Austin that are worth downloading on your smartphone:
You’ve got a busy work life, and a yard that is in desperate need of some TLC, with overgrown weeds, faded mulch and wilted flowers. Enter LawnStarter.
This Austin company uses an app to match homeowners with lawn care companies.
Here’s how it works: A homeowner selects the type of service they want, such as mowing, brush trimming or aeration. After putting in an address, LawnStarter suggests a lawn care service based on your address and the type of customer ratings the service provider has received.
Payment and scheduling is handled through the app. Spokeswoman Rachel Welch said the average price of a LawnStarter mowing service in Austin is about $38.46. The company makes money by taking a percentage of the transaction, typically between 15 percent and 20 percent.
LawnStarter was founded in 2014 by Steve Corcoran, Ryan Farley and Jonas Weigert and is now in 13 U.S. cities. In Austin, LawnStarter works with 100 lawn care providers.
Favor’s couriers deliver everything from restaurant meals to prescription medicine to anything on grocery or store aisles. The cost in Austin is $3 to $8 a trip.
The company launched its service in Austin four years ago, initially targeting University of Texas students and gradually adding new ZIP codes. The service is now available in 15 Texas cities.
Using Favor’s mobile app, users place orders on a smartphone, and a courier delivers items to their door, usually within 35 minutes. Favor says it handled more than $60 million in sales and delivered more than 2.5 millio orders with 20,000 runners in 2016.
As any parent of young kids knows, trying to find a babysitter can be stressful.
Enter SnapSitter, an on-demand app that lets parents find, book and pay local babysitters from a smartphone.
Parents can build and tap into their trusted network of babysitters any time they need a sitter. For sitters, the app lets them list their availability, rates and other information.
Liz Grow, a mom and entrepreneur, co-founded SnapSitter after having difficulty finding a sitter herself.
“We now have 400 sitters on the platform, and we’re in 15 Austin neighborhoods,” Grow said. “We have no membership fees, no waiting, no stress - it’s babysitting made easy.”
TipCow wants to help musicians make money. Co-founders Rene De La Mora and Chris Bush started the company three years ago to enable fans to tip musicians or artists through their app, no cash necessary.
Only musicians or other entertainers who use TipCow can benefit from the service, and Bush says they have about 500 musicians signed up right now. You don’t have to download the app to use it, Bush said, because every entertainer gets their own web link they can share with followers.
About 75 percent of the tips come through from these direct links, Bush said, and not the app.
TipCow has recently pivoted to also helping entertainers live stream a show or a studio session. The company, which has not raised any outside funds, takes a percentage of each tip transaction. Musicians keep about 90 percent of the tip money, Bush said.
Austin-based Burro offers on-demand delivery. For instance, you can use the company to have furniture delivered from a store to your house. Though Burro works directly with retailers such as West Elm and Crate & Barrel, it also has an app and website that anyone can use to schedule a delivery.
“Seventy percent of our users are private individuals,” said co-founder Jason Ervin. “The rest are stores.” Burro operates only in Austin and San Marcos and has about 100 drivers signed up.
Ervin says he and his two co-founders started the entirely boot-strapped company about two-and-a-half years ago. They make money by taking 30 percent of the delivery charge. The rest goes to the driver.
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