Kevin Tan and Crystal Gonzalez Have Joined Forces for Pick.A.Roo
A new consumer delivery app meant to help customers transition to the so-called “new normal” was launched on Tuesday, July 28. Pick.A.Roo is the brainchild of Megaworld’s Kevin Tan and tech startup veteran Crystal Gonzalez, who was the former country head of Honestbee Philippines.
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During the virtual launch, Gonzalez said Pick.A.Roo fills a gap in the increasingly crowded grocery and food delivery service space by focusing on premium products especially curated and “approved” by the platform.
What is Pick.A.Roo
Pick.A.Roo says it has already onboarded 300 merchants and brands that represent “essentials:” from premium groceries and luxury hotel goodies to gadgets, home and kitchen products, toys, gifts, and food items.
Some of the brands working with Pick.A.Roo are S&R Membership Shopping, Marriott Hotel Manila, Shangri-La At the Fort, Beyond the Box, Las Flores, Tim Ho Wan, The Grid Food Market at Powerplant, Coco Milk Tea, fresh Options, Hawker Chan, Kam’s Roast, and many others.
The platform now also has 1,400 shoppers and riders that will fulfill order requests from customers.
The service essentially combines a grocery shopping and delivery service like honestbee with a food delivery app like GrabFood or FoodPanda.
(Honestbee, which once had an extensive presence in many countries in the region, has drastically scaled back its presences and now only operates in its home country of Singapore).
Customers will be able to order from establishments with up to a 10-kilometer radius from their location. The introductory service fee starts at P168 per delivery (P80 delivery fee and shopper fees at P88).
Gonzalez said what’s different with this new platform is its focus on premium products, convenience and safety.
“We needed to adapt to the needs of the customers,” she said. “We perfected the user experience on the app and made sure to adhere to the strictest safety protocols given the situation in the world today.”
Gonzalez highlighted Pick.A.Roo’s near obsessive attention to safety measures for its riders and shoppers, equipping them with PPEs, having them undergo periodic rapid testing for COVID-19, and reminding them constantly about safety measures through app-integrated protocols.
Megaworld's first startup investment
Asked about the origins of the startup, Gonzalez said she had been in talks with Megaworld’s Tan through Agile Digital Ventures, the conglomerate’s technology and digital investment arm.
Agile Digital Ventures is currently the sole investor in the platform.
Gonzalez said she and Tan have known each for years and have worked closely together even when she was with the messaging platform Viber.
“Even before this pandemic, we spent the entire year researching and planning a fresh concept that bridges the gap between premium offline brands and the growing online segment,” Tan said in the Pick.A.Roo news release. “With this vision in mind, we decided that to be able to create a unique all-in-one and on-demand premium delivery experience, we had to build our own homegrown start-up and redefine the Filipino’s shopping experience.”
“Kevin and I met up and brainstormed together,” Gonzalez said at the virtual launch. “I think the combination of (Megaworld) as a real estate giant, and (the team's) digital experience, that’s where the synergy happens. Expecially during this time.”
But Pick.A.Roo’s CEO said she and the team have big plans for growth, primarily with the expansion of the platform into more cities and regions in the country, and perhaps, later on, in other countries in the region.
Pick.A.Roo will be available on beta testing starting August 8 for the first 188 users the company will invite exclusively to the platform. The app will be open and avaialble to regular customers in key cities in Metro Manila starting August 18, 2020.
Customers can download the app on the Android Play Store and Apple’s App Store.