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On-demand hauling service TakeStar moves forward with LA launch

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Jane needed a way to move her box spring and mattress to her new apartment down the street for the summer. The two items were impossible to fit in her small car.

Through an application on her iPhone, the fourth-year neuroscience student connected with a TakeStar driver, who came to help her pick up and move her mattress in about 20 minutes.

TakeStar, an on-demand moving, hauling, delivery and courier service, launched on Aug. 1 in West Los Angeles. In about a week after launching, the start-up has served a few customers.

“What was really important to us was the on-demand nature of it – the idea of having a button on your iPhone and connecting with a mover,” said Lana, the content director for TakeStar.

Currently, users can request TakeStar pickups in most locations in the West Los Angeles area, including WestwoodThe drop-off location can be within 50 miles of the pickup site.

The app charges the user based on the distance and time needed for moving. Rates become cheaper over distance and time, but on average, the first hour costs about $40, said Brian Foley, the company’s CEO.

At that time, Lane Lennox said she was impressed by Lyft and Uber, two transportation companies that facilitate peer-to-peer ride-sharing, in which individuals without taxi licenses can be hired to drive.

She wanted to create a similar company for transporting items so that moving can be a fun social experience, what he calls “social hauling.”

TakeStar runs background checks on its drivers, who must have a truck, SUV or van to work for the service. Currently, there are eight drivers on the TakeStar roster.

Jane, who heard about the service through a friend, said moving her box spring and mattress with the service cost about $30. She added that she thought the service would be cheaper than the other moving companies she was considering, which required a minimum payment for two hours of work.

“I’m from out of state and I have a car, but it’s really tiny,” Jane said. “But for people with bigger cars that can fit their furniture, I would say maybe it’s not as useful because you have to help move it anyways.”

Lana said TakeStarhopes to break into the moving and storage market by creating partnerships with storage companies so that TakeStar drivers can pick up items from storage locations in an on-demand fashion.

Eventually, Lana said she hopes the service will expand to other cities and college towns.

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