The digital age has ushered in a new era of convenience for consumers and delivered it to their doors at the touch of a button and free two-day shipping. Leaving the house for food and common household items is replacing “walking uphill both ways in the snow” as the new adage for effort as services like UberEats and Instacart remove time-consuming commutes from our schedules and now, with the South Florida debut of tech start-up iDrop, the home improvement space is getting a digital renovation.
“If you’ve ever done a home project around your house, it’s just never-ending trips back and forth,” says iDrop Co-Founder and CEO Josh Wetherington, who aims to take the hassle out of home improvement.
As a member of the Air Force Reserves since he finished high school, Wetherington used his time between commitments to start several handyman companies and also oversaw repairs and upkeep for foreclosed properties. He knows the importance of having everything needed for a job, especially after seeing the frustrating delays caused by contractors having to pack up and leave a job site to buy one small part or tool. Wetherington was using a grocery delivery app when he realized there might be a way to remove this inconvenience from the workday.
“I just thought, ‘Hey there’s nothing out there like this for the contractors and the home improvement space, so let’s figure out what to do,'” says Wetherington, and within a year he and his partners developed a minimal viable version of an app, a sort of skeletal frame for what would become iDrop. “As you can imagine, it’s a lot of work to build an app, I had no clue how much work it was going to take.”
Four years later, the Melbourne-based company has gone from delivering from a single store to expanding to 11 Lowe’s locations throughout South Florida, including Boca Raton, but has goals of broadening even further by adding delivery services from other home improvement stores such as Ace Hardware and Tractor Supply.
How it works: Using the iDrop app (available for Apple and Android), peruse an up-to-date inventory of small-to-medium sized items from your nearest Lowe’s store, select the supplies needed for your home project and place your order. A driver from iDrop’s network will go to the store, purchase the items and bring them to your door with same-day delivery.
Wetherington hopes to fill the void of that “forgotten last-minute item” and keep contractors on the job or DIY enthusiasts at home with their families. And with drivers for iDrop taking home half of the app’s 20 percent convenience fee on top of tips, gig economy workers have a new money-making opportunity.
For Wetherington, it’s exciting to be part of Florida’s booming tech economy. “Everything used to be west,” he says, “you had to go to silicon valley to be a start-up, but [now] we’re seeing some of that shift to the east coast.” As iDrop continues to draw in customers and funding, Wetherington hopes to eventually expand to other cities and states.
As a new player in the South Florida tech start-up scene, Wetherington says that iDrop’s mission is simple. “The mission statement for us is just to provide customers with a simple, fast, easy way to get materials, and to get more done in less time.”
To learn more about iDrop or download the app, visit their website here.