Joe Downtown: New business will help keep things moving in Las Vegas
A company seeking to lift the arduous job of moving into the 21st century is now part of the downtown landscape, hiring “Move Captains” and using a Priceline-like selection model so those moving can find the best deal.
The unique part of Moveline that lets customers do this is the use of video. With the assistance of Move Captains via the Internet or smartphone, customers are instructed how and what to record on video. Moveline removes the traditional step of a moving company sales rep coming to a home, noting what has to be moved and working up a price that usually isn’t guaranteed.
If a customer didn’t like a price quote, they’d have to go through the same process with a sales rep from another moving company.
Moveline sends a customer’s video to moving companies who use it to calculate a price that Moveline guarantees.
Customers then choose the company they want. In some cases, said Kelly Eidson, who co-founded the business with Frederick Cook and moved it here from New York in August, customers have seen price differences of 50 percent.
The company, at 4th Street and Bridger Avenue, has 20 full-time employees, 16 of whom live here. Eidson said they expect to hire 12 to 20 more by the end of the year.
“People save time and money by shooting the video on their own, and they do it over FaceTime (an app) with Moving Captains who will walk them through the house and create a very detailed list of things they have to move,” Eidson said.
It’s a fairly simple idea born of years working in advertising, especially for a client that was a moving company for which Eidson did some logistical work.
“I came to understand where the problems were, and the more I learned, the more it became clear that there are so many ways technology could benefit the business,” she said.
Investors of various types helped Moveline get off the ground; VegasTechFund, a branch of the Downtown Project, whose website lists 33 startup companies in its investment portfolio, is one of the company’s newest investors.
Why Las Vegas for a company that could likely set up shop just about anywhere with Internet and phone access?
“We wanted to be in a place that is growing and where we’d have access to great customer service,” Eidson said. “The economy (here) is designed to make people happy. Concierges and hospitality has always been strong. And with Zappos establishing themselves here, there’s just a lot of thought-leadership, especially downtown. People in Las Vegas just know how to deliver an awesome experience.”
The company moved here relatively quickly after meeting Andy White, head of VegasTechFund, within the past year at a conference.
“They said, ‘You should come out and check out Vegas,’ and we were like, ‘Yeah, sure,’” Eidson said. “But I had been hearing more about startups and seeing more about Las Vegas in tech publications. And then we came in April with no expectations, just curious to see what we would find.”
They liked it, returned two months later and were “amazed to see how much it had changed from two months earlier.”
“It’s just really exciting, with the momentum and the speed with which things are growing,” Eidson said. “It seems like things are coming to fruition at a sort of critical nexus for downtown and the tech scene here — it’s a really exciting time.”
Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.